Thursday, August 6, 2009

BM Review: Coastal Junction

Last Friday, the 31st of July, saw me visiting Bangalore latest sea food restaurant, Coastal junction, on 80 feet road, in Indiranagar. Again, this was an official review for The Bangalore Mirror, and the review can be read here, titled 'At the crossroads'. The snaps of what we ate are below.

Squid masala

The squid masala (there was a specific Mallu name which I can't remember now) was the best among the appetisers.

Kane fry

Too thin, almost dry, and not marinated long enough, 'coz the marinade hadn't 'seeped' in deep enough (and since there was hardly any flesh, you can guess how 'well' it was marinated).

Chicken ghee roast

Tasted nice, but there didn't seem to be any ghee!!! I mean ghee roast and no ghee - are you kidding' me? They could have called it chicken masala or something, but not ghee roast.

Karwar prawns

Nice, but could have been seasoned a little more. Seemed to be lacking in salt, but the prawns were very fresh.

Baby corn something

This was ok.

Goan prawn curry

Tasted good. Again, prawns were fresh, and the spices in it were good and the dish on the whole seemed pretty authentic.

Chicken xacuti

Tasted good, but again, this isn't how a xacuti (pronounced sha-ku-tee) looks. It's supposed to be dark, like a shade of grey due to the roasted coconut nad peppercorns in it. Also, it's supposed to be 'knock-your-pants-off' spicy. This wasn't - it tasted good, but wasn't the 'real' xacuti.

Appam

Nice.

Neer dosa

Good.

Payasams

Heavenly. Probably the best dish of the night. All three payasams were heavenly, our own ambrosia.


Food: Nice, but I expected something better for the prices charged
$$$: On the higher side. Meal for two could cost anywhere from close to Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500 without drinks.
Service: Like any other place, nothing special for a 'fine-dining' place and for the prices charged.
Verdict: Can visit once for the Malabar cuisine, other cuisines are OK but may lack authenticity.

Coastal Junction, #623, 5th floor, Above Roseby's, 11th Main, 80 feet road, Indiranagar, Bangalore

The full review is here:

When I hear the words fine dining clubbed with coastal cuisine in India, and when the coastal cuisine in question is from the west coast, there’s a sense of cautious uneasiness in me. One usually associates fine dining with, among several other things, dining with a fork, knife and a spoon. See where I’m going? So either we dine with knives and forks, in which case it’s a little difficult to enjoy the Malabar and Konkan cuisine without food literally flying off the plate, or the food would be made suitable to be eaten with knives and forks, in which case the chefs would need to be really innovative to preserve the authenticity of the dishes.

Coastal Junction is Bangalore’s latest coastal cuisine restaurant, dishing out Konkan and Malabar dishes. Owner Clifford Mascarenhas, who also runs the store Roseby’s in Indiranagar (Coastal Junction is located above Roseby’s), says he started a coastal cuisine restaurant partly because of his origin (he’s a Mangalorean, so opening a coastal cuisine restaurant made sense), and also because there aren’t any restaurants in the vicinity dishing out coastal food. Fair enough. On a night that saw a steady drizzle after a long time, I visited the place along with my guests Ra-Ben Almeida (Goan), his cousin Mavis Smith (Mangalorean) and her sister-in-law Milly Smith (again, Goan). And of course, yours truly was there to chip in with his Mangalorean-in-exile expertise.

The bar looked swanky, but the furniture didn’t scream ‘fine dining’ to us. A look at the menu projected a tilt in favour of Malabar cuisine. The squid appetiser we had, one of the Kerala dishes, was fabulous — right from the way it was cooked to the masalas used in it, it was lip-smacking. The chicken ghee roast was nice, but strangely, was lacking the ghee! If I can’t even smell the ghee, let alone watch it drip from the chicken, it’s not a ghee roast. Had it been called by a different name, there would have been no complaints. The Karwar prawns were very fresh and nice, but should have been seasoned a little better. Sadly, the kane (lady fish) fry lacked any real substance (read flesh), and wasn’t marinated long enough with the marinade.

For our main course, again, we tried to sample dishes from across the coast, and so a round of appams and neer dosas along with a bowl of red rice was to be polished off with a Goan prawn curry and a chicken xacuti. The appams were good — crispy and not sticky, and the neer dosas were the best I’ve had in Bangalore restaurants in a long time. Although they didn’t look exactly like neer dosas (they’re supposed to be more porous and white), they tasted great.

The prawns in the Goan curry were fresh, and the curry had everything, right from the concoction of spices to the coconut milk. The xacuti, however, was a different story. Purely going by the sense of taste, it was great. But with its introduction to the sense of sight, especially with prior knowledge as to what a xacuti is supposed to look like, you would be a little flummoxed. A traditional xacuti, according to Mavis and Milly, is supposed to be dark, like a shade of dark grey because of the deep roasted coconut and peppercorns in it. Also, a traditional xacuti is supposed to be so spicy it will exorcise all the sniffles and blocked/running noses and coughs associated with the rainy weather. In our case, the xacuti presented to us was almost reddish-brown in colour, and although it tasted good, wasn’t anywhere close to the legendary spiciness. Our tryst with the desserts saw us order the trio of payasams — one tender coconut based, one banana and jaggery based, and the third one based on rice flour and cashew nuts. All three were heavenly — India’s very own ambrosia!

At any restaurant, the ‘cost-to-quantity and quality’ ratio is something to look for the most. For the prices charged here, you certainly expect more on your plate in terms of quality and certainly shouldn’t cut any slack for loss in authenticity. What’s more, you’d expect to see something that you normally wouldn’t find in other sea food restaurants. As for Coastal Junction, it’s seems to be at the crossroads from where it needs to chart its own course towards the promised land.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The food was a shit, I really heated the taste, The price was killer.
Avoid at all cost

nishchitha said...

horrible food , got ripped of a 1ooo bucks not worth it at all

Karthik Shetty said...

Looks like things haven't changed from 2009 to 2011! Wonder how they're still in business.