By the time we finished visiting few of the places at Diu, the sun was high up and we were famished. A quick surfing threw up some names claiming to serve authentic Portuguese cuisine and then some more.
I usually prefer to find out choices in area specific authentic cuisine, but anything beyond the regular fish and poultry dish makes me go all vegetarian… Portuguese cuisine it seemed did not have anything for vegetarians. So off we went in search of something we could relate to…
On our way back to our resort, we chanced upon this restaurant. A peculiar name, Cat’s Eye restaurant caught my eye not only due to its name but also because the resort ‘Hoka Island Villa‘ that houses this restaurant is a quaint large house with an oldish aura.
The Hoka Island Villa
The Villa is named after the Hoka Palm trees or the Doum palm also known as Gingerbread tree, found in abundance in Diu. The trees native to Arabian peninsula and northern Africa are believed to have been brought in by Portuguese when they occupied the region. The palms unlike the usual palm trees, break out in many branches from the main trunk with fan like huge leaves.
I felt immediately at ease the moment we stepped in the white entrance portico filled with potted greens. The villa devoid of any fancy extravagant decor was perfect for guests with kids…after all there was nothing breakable; a great relief for mothers!
However it was anything but dull. The bright splashes of colors on walls, the contrasting cane furniture, the old wooden staircase at far left and the floor all oddly blended in to enhance the warm feeling that emanated from the space.
Nobody among the staff knew why the restaurant owner named it so. But I am guessing it has something to do with the cats and the cat eyed beauties depicted in paintings in the dining area… Now whether the paintings came first or the restaurant is a million dollar question!!
The resort being an old bungalow has just 17 rooms on two floors arranged around a courtyard that has a smallish pool to splash around with covered lounging area to relax. The rooms are simple and done up tastefully with similar bold colors defining the character of the room.
Though we did not stay at the resort, but the staff was generous enough to show me around. I loved the idea of personal small balcony attached to the room.
The Cat’s Eye Restaurant
Besides being a melange of joyful colors with a themed wall for the dining area, the restaurant is a cozy little space. The home style cooking is sumptuous and fresh with quite some choice in food items. The sea-food preparation is praise worthy as is the food for vegetarians.
However, the service suffers if the restaurant has all its dining space occupied with guests. But the ambiance being so relaxed and homely, one doesn’t mind waiting for the food to turn up on table while nursing a drink or two.
- In absence of natural breeze, the restaurant becomes slightly uncomfortable with only the ceiling fans being the source of air.
- I also found the presence of a makeshift kiosk of newspapers, magazines and information near the dining area unsightly…it was definitely taking away the cheeriness of the restaurant.
- The kitchen though serving fresh food was not presentable enough to be placed right there in the dining space. Either the cooking space should have been in the rear of the resort or designed as open kitchen in bright neat decor if the idea was to let guests see what was being cooked for them.
Facts and Information
- Rooms are of two types Deluxe and Standard with tariffs Rs 3750 and Rs 3250.
- Tariff does not include meals.
- Resort is just a short walk at 200m from the Nagoa beach.
- The resort can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
We chose to skip meal at our resort Kostamar Beach resort to go again to Cat’s Eye restaurant during our two day stay at Diu.