Rise to the Bait

New restaurant on the block spoils you for choice with over 100 Mangalorean seafood dishes.

Written by Debjani Paul | Published: April 20, 2013 12:00 am

New restaurant on the block spoils you for choice with over 100 Mangalorean seafood dishes.

Barely a week had passed since Fish N Bait opened its doors and kitchens,and it hadn’t even been officially launched or announced yet. We arrived there expecting to be the first to taste the Mangalorean delights on offer,but we couldn’t have been more wrong. On a weekday,at a virtually unknown restaurant,almost every table was full and we were hard-pressed to find seats. There’s no better sign of success for a restaurant than when food lovers discover and swarm to the place on their own,even before it becomes “much-talked-about-and-reviewed.”

For those who are yet to discover the wonders of Mangalorean seafood,Fish N Bait is located in Viman Nagar and was launched in the first week of April. It’s a new venture by the same group that runs the famous chains Mahesh Lunch Home and Shivsagar in Mumbai.

The theme of a sea world is maintained through the experience. Right at the entrance,there’s a cold storage unit through which you can see gigantic lobsters and crabs,right alongside plump pomfrets and other fish. Inside,the restaurant is lit in blue and the see-through walls are lined with aquariums and shell displays. This is meant to give you the feeling of being underwater.

The impressive menu has hundreds of options spanning across fish,prawns,lobsters,crab,squid and more. Among the starters,Prawns in Garlic Butter Sauce was a sure choice. The prawns were succulent and the taste of warm butter and lightly burnt garlic made it complete comfort seafood. The Bombil Kurkure was slightly different from how we had imagined it. Instead of being deep fried and crunchy strips of fish,they were like regular fish chops made from Bombay Duck.

Squid Sukka is a typical Mangalorean preparation with all the glory of curry leaves,coconut and peanuts. Those who are less tolerant of spices though beware,the sukka borders on runny-nose spice levels. One unusual item on the menu is the Harnei Bombil,a Bombay Duck fillet rolled around prawns and fried gently. Outside,the rice coating is slightly crisp on impact,but breaks gently to reveal the tender fish and prawns inside.

In the mains,there are several options to choose from,but we decided to go with the traditional Gassi and Pulimunchi. Gassi is a Managalorean-style thick gravy for serious coconut lovers. Yet,it is a little drab in contrast to the Pulimunchi,which translates to tamarind and chilli. Like the name suggests,it is like fireworks in a bowl. Cooked in an earthen pot with curry leaves,tamarind and lots of chillies,this recipe comes from the south west coastal zone. This is best had with brown rice or extremely soft and moist neer dosas.

Meal for two: Rs 1,200 Address: A Wing,Lunkad Sky Cruise,Viman Nagar Contact: 26501533

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