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April 22, 2024

Image Courtesy: The Sanctuary Bar & Kitchen

The Sanctuary Bar & Kitchen in a Portuguese villa is worthy of a Pinterest vision board

By Anushka Manik

As the saying goes, every ending marks the start of something new, and boy, did we see that firsthand when The Sanctuary Bar & Kitchen sprang to life in Goa!

Nestled amidst the lush remains of a centuries-old Portuguese villa in Vagator, this place is a breath of fresh air among a crowd of new restaurant openings in the state.
With an authentic Goan menu curated by none other than Masterchef Australia finalist and desi-food enthusiast Sarah Todd, this culinary oasis promises an unparalleled dining experience that transcends the ordinary. Originally hailing from the bustling city of Hyderabad, the restaurant brings with it a rich heritage of culinary excellence and innovation, drawing inspiration from its roots and blending global comfort food with a touch of Hyderabad’s culinary heritage.

The restaurant’s architecture and interior design is one for the books, paying homage to the rich heritage of its surroundings and promising an opulent dining experience like no other. Spanning nearly an acre of land, over 350 guests can be comfortably accommodated at once. From the moment you step foot inside, the ambience encourages you to capture every corner that is worthy of Pinterest. Meticulous care was taken to preserve the surrounding plants during the construction process, ensuring none were disturbed. In fact, founders Gokul Krishna, Rohan Gutta, Trilok Potluri, and Mithun Yalamarthi took it a step further by planting over 8,000 trees, resulting in a lush green ambience. The untouched 250-year-old ruins stand as a captivating entrance to the expansive property, leading you to the restored villa, which is a mere 150 years old. Inside, you’ll discover a series of rooms, each with its own unique atmosphere. From the spacious family dining room and the adjacent indoor bar to the cozy intimate dining area and the kids’ room nestled within the villa, there’s something for everyone to adore.

Image Courtesy: The Sanctuary Bar & Kitchen
Image Courtesy: The Sanctuary Bar & Kitchen
Image Courtesy: The Sanctuary Bar & Kitchen

An experience of a lifetime

Before heading to the event, I envisioned a typical restaurant launch night filled with scrumptious food. Little did I know, it turned into an epic culinary and architectural extravaganza! With the incredible Chef Sarah Todd’s passion for Indian cuisine and mixologists Agnieszka Rozenska and Louness Ducos whipping up tantalizing cocktails, the evening kicked off with a bang. As Sarah shared her vision for the restaurant, we indulged in mouthwatering Goan appetizers like Xacuti Crab Cakes with Kokum Salsa and Chicken Kiev Cafreal Bites with Cafreal Dip, and more. Apart from the non-veg offerings, some unique vegetarian options like Paneer Hara Masala Tart, Fenni Pickled Zucchini, and Sweet and slightly spiced carrots glazed in jaggery stole the spotlight! With guests soothing strains of the sitar in one corner and others dancing to the pulsating beats of EDM in another, the amalgamation was one for the books.

Image Courtesy: The Sanctuary Bar & Kitchen
Image Courtesy: The Sanctuary Bar & Kitchen

Moving on to the big plates that stole the show! Picture this: the Recheado Platter, a Goan twist on paella bursting with recheado masala and a bounty of seafood. Then, we’ve got the Peruvian Style Morning Glory and Lime Rice, a zesty dance of stir-fried morning glory atop tangy lime-infused rice, sprinkled with Peruvian spices. And don’t even get me started on the Chicken Roulade with Aji Verde and Fondant Potatoes, or the Soy Glazed Charred Eggplant with Sesame Yogurt, that were an absolute flavour explosions.

But wait, it gets even better! Let’s talk cocktails. My top pick? The Clear Picante, a spicy concoction of tequila silver, agave syrup, chilli tincture, coriander, lime, and clarified milk – talk about a flavor fiesta! And then there’s the game-changer, the star of the show: the signature Its Peanut’s Thyme. Made with bourbon, peanut butter, vermouth rosso, passionfruit, thyme, clarified milk, jaggery syrup, and lemon – it’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted before!

Whether you’re planning a trip with your squad or already soaking up the sun in Goa, it’s time to make a beeline for the brand-new hotspot: The Sanctuary Bar & Kitchen. Tucked away in the vibrant streets of Vagator, this gem is ready to elevate your Goa experience to a whole new level of luxury.

Check it out here.

Anushka Manik


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