Connecting in paradise

Solitude, Patnem beach, Goa, India

With their toes in the sand and the smell of BBQ in the air as trays of fresh fish – red snapper, pomfret, tiger prawns and shark – are ferried to the hot coals, Solitude is where Home Counties girls with plummy accents come to be at one with nature. As long as there is a good wi-fi connection. It is here they can chat to friends on Skype as they relax to the sounds of crashing waves and chilled jazz.

Solitude is one of the larger shacks along this small beach that has an almost exclusive feel to it and it’s a fun place to watch people connect with themselves. Darling.

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Hey mum, it’s me. Can you hear me mum?

But the food is damn good so you’ll have to take a rest from people watching. When the waiter’s eyes light up at your order of Alu Ghobi (Rps 130) you know you are in action. In England it’s almost unheard of to order a dish like this as a main, but the thick, spicy gravy and fresh chunks of potato and cauliflower make it irresistible, especially with a chilli cheese nan (Rps 80). A cracking alternative is a Vegetable Curry and Rice (Rps 180).

* At the time of the visit £1 = Rs 85, $1 = Rs 54.

Solitude beach shack, Patnem Beach, Goa, India. Tel: 0942 115 2153 or 083 9022 0005. E-mail: Nil7134@gmail.com. Open: from morning to about midnight in season.

Solitude snapshot

Food 8⃣

Value 8⃣

Service and friendliness 6⃣

King of the beach

Paradise (beach shack), Patnem Beach, Goa, India

There are a lot of fish that go by the name of Kingfish. The one you will find in Goa is the Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel. Found in a large area around south-east Asia and the Indian Ocean, this is one of the popular fishes on offer to diners at the casual beach huts. You can, of course, select your fish and get it barbecued, put in the tandoori, or even smoother it in masala sauce. I choose a local favourite, the Goan Fish Fry (Rps 180 or Rps 220 with salad).

It is sliced into neat fillets, with the skin on the fish and a a bone up the middle of each piece. It then coated in spices and dry fried. The coating is crispy but it is so thin that you immediately bite into the firmness of the kingfish without crunching away unnecessarily. Delicious with a bit of lime squeezed on top.

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* At the time of the visit £1 = Rs 85, $1 = Rs 54.

Paradise (beach shack), Patnem Beach, Goa, India. Open: approx 8am-11pm in season.

Paradise beach shack snapshot

Food 8⃣

Value 8⃣

Service 7⃣