Ma Goa

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A glass frontage and neutral tones lend an airy feel to this well-liked family-run venue. Although Ma Goa’s menu offers ubiquitous pan-Indian favourites, we suggest ordering dishes that celebrate Goa’s Portuguese heritage. Cooking is homely, if a bit inconsistent, and the service is friendly and attentive. Pork vindaloo, with its tender morsels of boneless meat, was based around a robust masala of pounded red chillies, toasted coriander seeds and garlic, cut through with the spikiness of palm vinegar – a top-class rendition. Venison samosas looked promising, but failed to exhibit any hoped-for Goan spicing and lacked depth of flavour. Things looked up with the shrimp balchao, served with sanna (a spongy rice and coconut cake), though the saucy tomato and onion masala could have done with an extra hit of pickling spices. However, the vegetarian thali was a disaster: an expensive and unimaginative assortment of bitter dahl, bland chickpeas, greasy bhajia, boring potato masala, and under-seasoned spinach paste. Despite the unevenness of the cooking, Ma Goa remains popular with Putney residents, and the cheerfully priced meal deals are a draw for local office workers.
Venue name: Ma Goa
Address: 242-244 Upper Richmond Road
SW15 6TG
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.30pm Tue-Fri; 1-3.30pm Sun. Dinner served 6.30-11pm Mon-Sat; 6-10pm Sun.
Transport: Tube: East Putney tube/Putney rail/74, 337 bus
Price: Main courses £7.50-£12. Set dinner (6.30-8pm) £10 2 courses. Set buffet (Sun lunch) £10.