Chalston is a quaint beach resort located between Calangute and Baga beaches. Chalston has the privilege of thean excellent location between two busy beaches in North Goa, in spite of which you can actually get some peace and quiet. While the property is decently maintained with a good manicured garden, a very clean swimming pool and neat common areas, the housekeeping is average. The rooms are pretty small, but then in Goa I spend more time outdoors and the room size hardly matters.
The restaurant is a small walk across the garden and faces the beach so one can enjoy breakfast/lunch/dinner or even an evening drink watching the sunset. This is my third visit to Chalston and the biggest draw for me to go back was the food (except for the complimentary breakfast – more on that later). However, this time round I noticed a dip in the quality and quantity. On checking, I learnt that the chef had changed.
The one and only vegetarian Goan dish – veg xacuti, pronounced "shakuti/sha-kooty" was anything but authentic. Typically, xacuti is a rich delicious curry that is a blend of local spices and fresh coconut, with either vegetables or meat dunked in and served with plain steamed rice. The xacuti at Chalston was a concoction of very north Indian garam masala powder and random vegetables with probably a spoon of coconut thrown in. And why just vegetarian fare, my non vegetarian buddies felt the king fish curry was a big let-down (they usually live on king fish curry and rice while in Goa) – apparently the curry was watery and not well blended. The regular north Indian fare like roti subzi and dal was just about average.
Continental stuff like pastas and stroganoff was alright but I have had better continental meals at Chalston. The Chinese food was pretty good.
Only the quality of desserts and breakfast remained the same. The buffet breakfast served as compliments is as bad as it previously used to be – buns/paav like leather cork balls, insipid bhaji, some eggs and lassi apart from tea/coffee. The desserts, chocolate ganache, apple crumble, tiramisu, walnut brownies and cheesecake – as before, were excellent as they are painstakingly made with a lot of care by the resort owner’s wife.
The staff is very co-operative and service at the restaurant is good. Once a week there is live music and people take to the dance floor– and that really completes the the Goan spirit along with chilled beer and really good cocktails (thankfully the bartender has not changed I guess).