GQ Hype: India’s best restaurant and bar

It would be hard to imagine that something like this could have happened in Benaulim, except for this even more unlikely twist: Five minutes away is Tesouro, another brilliant pandemic experience that came from nowhere earlier this year to rank fourth among Asian countries. 50 best bars. This is by far the highest an Indian bar has ever reached, brand new consensus the best in the country (at the end of last year it debuted at the top of the list of the 30 best bars in India ).
It’s something to get from Cavatina to Tesouro on a long evening in Benaulim, in the beautiful coastline of Salcete which includes India’s second longest beach.

There are still coconut groves and rice fields intact, but uncomfortably crowded with anarchic constructions in all directions. A certain village character remains, with its traditional tradition of bullfights and native eccentrics. But there’s nothing strange about either of these two seriously professional local institutions, where you’re transported to the comforting buzz of global best practices, expert systems, and exceptional service. In the case of Tesouro, in particular, you could easily mistake it for London or Hong Kong or Floyd Cardoz’s beloved Manhattan, except what’s in your drink. It is surely the only glamorous bar in the world that devotes its front page to feni. It’s the final piece of that puzzle, and the third killer app coming out of South Goa at top speed, with all the promise of taking over the world.

“It’s always been obvious to me that our heritage is absolutely as good as it gets,” says Hansel Vaz, the charismatic 39-year-old entrepreneur whose younger brother Donovan is Tesouro’s majority partner, alongside hospitality veterans Arijit Bose and Pankaj. Balachandran. Just over a decade ago, while working as a geologist in New Zealand, he witnessed the meteoric global rise of mezcal – the fiery Mexican spirit distilled in small batches – and recognized that it offered enormous potential for feni, the talismanic drink of Goa. away from cashews and coconut palm grog. His family had been in the alcohol retail business for over 100 years, but his return to Goa to make and bottle ‘Cazulo Premium Feni’ plunged him into turbulent waters – this traditional industry is governed by legislation and regulations. obscure and age-old community practices, which took years of perseverance to penetrate.

TESOURO AND CAVATINE are pandemic breakthroughs, but Vaz’s epiphany came earlier, after he was felled by a devastating heart attack at the 2018 Panjim Carnival party (where he had just launched his now famous signature cocktail jambul -feni). Medical attention was prompt, but he remained clinically dead for 18 minutes. Surprisingly, after three attempts to wake up, he said, “I came back charged, with an unforgettable vision that was already fully formed in my mind.”

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