I love seafood, but not fish. Yes, a contradiction, which pretty much sums up my existence! I will happily immerse myself in shellfish, eat squishy squid and tentacled octopi, but fish? Well, I am super choosy. Suffice it to say, I was not terribly excited about coastal South Indian cuisine, given that there’s a whole lotta fish going on and many a spicy, coconutty gravy – all of which I like in severe moderation. However, after four years of living in Karnataka, with close friends from Mangalore and repeated visits to their homes and lunchboxes, I developed an appreciation for the cuisine. One of my favourite places to visit in Bangalore is an old standard on MG Road, tucked away in a little shopping mall. It’s got that old school vibe and wait staff, affordable and delicious food and a decent bar menu to keep you going. Going by the jaunty title of Anupam’s Coast II Coast, there is a sister concern of the same name in Koramangala too.
Being a well-known wuss when it comes to spice, I often find myself reaching for the chilled beer or glass of water when I visit, but it is oh-so-totally worth it! We have a few must-order dishes, and depending on who I’m with, a pomfret fry or a couple of vegetarian dishes (which are all quite delicious, lest you think only the seafood eaters will blossom here) might get added to the order. Come to think of it, the place boasts of a large number of chicken dishes as well, and its share of Indian Chinese and North Indian. But let’s stick with what makes them special, shall we? Start off with Squid Butter Garlic (INR 300) and Squid or Prawn Chilly (INR 300/400). Options for shellfish include crab and prawn too. There is Kane, Anjal and Pomfret that come thus dressed: ‘rava, masala, tawa or naked’ – take your pick! For mains, without question, Chicken Ghee Roast (INR 325 for a ¼) and my personal favourite, Chicken Sukka (INR 250) should not be missed. Accompaniments worthy of these are the Appam (INR 70) and the Neer Dosa (INR 75), the latter I consume in quite large numbers! Another Mangalorean speciality, Kori Roti (INR 250) is also quite good. The Potato Gassi (INR 190) and the Kanele Sukka (INR 225), which is bamboo shoots in the delectable grated coconut sukha masala, are the veg standouts.
Just writing this has made me realise how long it’s been since a visit has been paid to Anupam’s – a gross oversight and disservice to my taste buds and stomach that will be remedied shortly!