Amidst the numerous restaurants in the city, a new addition in Byculla is one with an eclectic menu and choices that stand to be outside the regular. Goyaa is a place filled with a variety of experiences started by Siddharth Somaiya and Mariki Sayles, both coming from a rich dose of experience and collected knowledge at Michelin star restaurants like the Lincoln and Le Bernardin. What truly stands out at this restaurant, the minute you walk in through a small passage that connects the lobby area to the dining section, are the stairs that create an amphitheater vibe, something that we have almost never seen in the dining scenario in Mumbai. And the inspiration is drawn from the proprietor’s early days serving Baos at his pervious venture ‘Bao Haus Co.’ where people sat with a plateful of yummy baos.
The restaurant is dimly lit and a raised ceiling creates an interesting vibe. With high chairs at the bar, which is stocked with a menu that has a remarkable list of cocktails put together by Meraki Sayles, this is a place that oozes sensuality and comfort. The ground area has the bar at one end and an open kitchen at another end, with seating for 2 or even a long table for a large group of people. Black table tops with plates in a dark shade of turquoise keep the dining experience neat. Shades of grey dominate over the walls and are complemented by wood and stone. A painting or two sparks interest but leaves the place uncluttered and not heavily decorated.
The highlight stands to be the bar menu and the small plates that give the diner an insight into the erratic and unconventionally crafted menu. The cocktails created by mixologist Mariki Sayles, are delicious and prepared with in-house concoctions. We tried Temple of Jaguar, their celebrated cocktail and were surprisingly amazed at the flavours. Universal Gravitation is another cocktail that sparked interest due to the variety of ingredients that go in it, and lived up to the hype. The bar menu opens claiming that the list you see is not a list of drinks, but instead the ‘harvest of experience’. It is the embodiment of embraces by long lost friends, forgotten lovers, heartbreak. The whole experience of trying new cocktails at Goyaa is to sink into the vibe of the place and let yourself relax as soothing music plays in the background.
For the appetisers, we tried the Mac and Cheese Bao and the Pork belly Baos. The baos come in twos and are juicy with a soft bread that is made in-house and a crunchy filling oozing with sauces. The pork Belly bao comes with watermelon chunks and a goat’s cheese sauce that is diluted, maybe a little too much, but all in good measure. We went for the Green Lipped Mussels that comes with a beautifully done broth and some bread on the side that can be dunked into this tasty broth before you attack the mussels. The pulled lamb BBQ is made with hickory smoke and consists of a layer of lamb topped with jalapeno cornbread and some fried pickles strewn on top for a slight crunch.
The whole experience of dining at Goyaa is a memorable one with a story attached to every drink and dish on the menu. The restaurant speaks volumes of the scope and range that can be introduced in the city when it comes to new concepts, interesting spaces and eclectic food options that vary from the usual. Definitely worth that visit to Byculla, we must say!
What we liked: Universal Gravitation, Instant Crush, Temple of Jaguar, Mac & Cheese Bao, Pork Belly Bao, Green Lipped Mussels(broth), Pulled Lamb BBQ with a cornbread.
Cuisine Type: Asian inspired bold flavours
Address: Unit No.2, Jak Compound, D.K. Cross Road, Byculla East, Mumbai – 20