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While there is so much more to Mangalorean food than just seafood, it is this one aspect that has caught the fancy of so many, outside of the little coastal town. So most restaurants offering Mangalorean food really do good all the way as far as seafood is concerned, but also make the effort to get those meats and veggies done great too. Some beer or some Kokum juice or Solkadi and you are set. Now there are quite a few Mangalorean restaurants, but this is my go-to list anytime.
It is one of those grand old places in Bangalore that serves up some really rustic Mangalorean fare. When crabs are in season, it is the crab curry here at Mangalore Pearl that you want. If you are like me, you do not need anything to go with this, other than rolling up those sleeves and getting to work. Else, the sannas and neer dosas make a fantastic accompaniment. They also make a great Masala Prawn and Squid Fry. Most of the seafood is available in classic coconut curries, or in the form of fries – rava, masala or naked, take your pick. They serve pork and the Pork Bafat (with ground and not packeted masala) rocks. As does the Pork Pepper Fry. Chicken Kori Rotti, from the Bunt community of Mangalore, is a meal in itself and one you should indulge in. And if you head there on a Sunday, Mangalorean specials of Kubey Mootlien – Cockles with rice dumplings; Mutton Patraday Curry (made with spinach though instead of colocasia leaves) is what you can expect.
Address: Mangalore Pearl, 3, Coles Road, Frazer Town, Bengaluru
Price for two: Rs 1000
Another bastion of Mangalorean food in the city, Kudla has been a part of the Ramanashree hotel for years now and has undergone a few renovations but what has remained the same is the food! The restaurant has a full bar menu, and honestly its the beer or a rum and coke that goes with the food. Especially if you are starting off with some Chicken Ghee Roast. It has that lovely homemade touch that will make you want to lick your fingers unabashedly in public. The Prawns Pepper Butter Garlic has all those classic ingredients to make a great dish and there is nothing better. When crabs are in season, ask for the Crab Sukka for something spicy or the butter garlic pepper if you want to go mild. The range of fries are also available and a personal favourite is the Cockles Sukka. If you progress to meats – the Kori Gassi, Mangalorean Mutton Curry and even the Chicken Kundapuri is great. Vegetarians do not fret, there is enough to keep you happy too.
Address: Kudla, Hotel Ramanashree, 16, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road, Richmond Road, Bengaluru
Price for two: Rs 1200
Perhaps what I really love about this place is the old world ambience took me back to my grandmother’s home. And the fact that they serve up a range of Mangalorean snacks that you do not really see outside a Mangi home. Think Biskoot Roti, Batata Ambado, Ghare Happlo and the like. Yes, the food is nice, but I will come back here for these. In the food department, the Yetti Fry (they stick to Kannada and Tulu names of dishes) is great as is the Egg Roast Masala. If you want to continue the starter way then the Cothmir Chicken or the Saasuve Chicken are your choices and for something heavier, the Mutton Sukha. The Karathe Mensinkai or Bittergourd Chilli is really something else. Fish curries and Fries Galore are available here and if rice is a must, the biryanis are the way to go with the classic Mangalorean green masala.
Address: Kanua, 6/2, Kaikondrahalli, Sarjapur Road, Bengaluru
Price for two: Rs 1500
Sea Rock recently upgraded and became a two-floor swanky outlet at Shivananda Circle. Thankfully they provide valet, so all you need to do is show up for some great Mangalorean style khaana. Yes, seafood reigns supreme here, so start off with the squid masala – simply because that masala is unbeatable. The Silverfish Rava Fry can be your next choice to soothe those taste buds a bit. The Seerfish Filets are gorgeously large and with that nice generous layer of chilli masala we call meet mirsang, it is very soul satisfying. As is the whole Pomfret Fry and may I add here the Kane Rava fry as well. And just when you think you cannot do more, let me suggest that you give Chicken and the Prawn Ghee Roast a whirl. You will find a hidden cache of space in your tummies for sure. The Neer Dosas here are soft and make a nice pairing with just about any of the masalas.
Address: Sea Rock, 6/4, Shivananda Circle, Seshadripuram, Bengaluru
Price: Rs 800
The name says it all – the focus is on great seafood and of course, all the rest follows. The chef here aims at keeping the dishes as close to home as possible and so ingredients for masalas find their way from Mangalore and the Udupi region. That being said, it is the hand of the chef that matters and believe you me, this one is a great one. Start off with the Seer Fish Masala Fry. Take the trouble to dip every morsel of fish into this masala and savour it well. The Kane Rava Fry is a brilliant rendition here. And this is one of those few places that get my favourite – the cockles sukka spot on. If you want to play it safe, then the Chicken lollipop is something you can order. Round up your meal with a Prawn Curry Rice or a Neer Dosa and Chicken Ghee Roast. You will go home a happy and satiated person.
Address: Konkan – The Seafood Restaurant, 48/1, 1st Floor, St Mark’s Road, Church Street, Bangalore
Price for two: Rs 1000
Ruth Dsouza Prabhu has been a media professional for 18 years now, across multiple platforms. As a passionate F&B writer, she has interacted personally with internationally renowned names such as Marco Pierre White, Janice Wong, Chef Vivek Singh, Chef Vikas Khanna, Madhur Jaffrey, the late Tarla Dalal and many others for her stories. A highlight has been personal interviews with all three of the celebrity judges on Masterchef Australia. She is on several jury panels of food and beverage awards, is sought after for opinions in the field by publications and has her work published in well-known names such as The Hindu, Firstpost, HuffPost India, Condé Nast Traveller, NatGeo Traveller among many others.