Everybody wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die – goes the well known saying. Well the folks at The Konkan, take you on a tour of heaven (ie if you believe in an alternate undersea location for paradise) and serve you brilliant sea food to die for (ironic huh ? 😀 )
If I have got you sufficiently excited, read on to know more about them as I seat you at my table and narrate my experiences at the lunch which I was invited to by the owners.
About The Konkan –
The Konkan which is just 9 months old, is the brainchild of Neil and Chaitra who used to work together when they lived the corporate life. Neil was a Techie who was proficient in restaurant software and Chaitra was the Marketing and PR expert.
A common love for food brought them together, resulting in Fishy business (of the nicest kind 😀 ) where they not only decided to spend their lives with each other but also decided to do Bangalore a favor and come up with a Seafood dining option that would serve fresh and flavorful fare at affordable prices and at a central location.
The choice of cuisine was based on their own quest for good seafood places in the city and realizing that the options were rather limited.
A lot of fervent research led them to finding a prime spot right in the heart of the city and this space space is now one of the most sought after eating places for people who have tried out their food and are now caught Hook, line and sinker 😀 and who repeatedly come back for their fish fix !!!
Location and Ambience –
The restaurant is poised at the corner of St Mark’s road and Church Street and it cannot get any more central than this. Perched atop the well known KC Das, they are shielded from the sound and dust of the busy streets below, by their sealed glass windows and air conditioning.
Simple furniture occupies the place and is spaced sufficiently apart for comfort. One can choose to sit in the center or along the wall or even by the window side if a view of the street is what one wants, though I cannot imagine why 😀 because once the dishes hit the table, then all eyes (and fingers) will have only the food in focus.
The walls bear framed pencil work caricatures and cartoons by well known artists like Paul Fernandes and the like. There is some relevance to the theme, in the form of singers and politicians of the Konkan region and even some action packed pictures of Sorpotel (a pork dish) in progress (starting with chasing the piggy 😀 )
One of the frames bears a ‘Todday’ shop, no doubt spelled by someone who had a tad too much Toddy 😀
The metro station is a hop away and is a convenient way to get there. Parking is by valet and hence not an issue.
They project themselves as a seafood restaurant and while they do not claim authenticity, most of their dishes stay true to the name of the restaurant and consist of offerings from the Konkan coast namely traditional Mangalorean cuisine which includes Mangalorean Catholic, Bunt and Saraswath Brahmin.
The stars of their show are obviously the stars of the sea and they procure their fish, prawns, crabs, squid etc as fresh as possible.
Ghee roast, a popular style of konkan dish, is one of their signature preparations and is available in paneer and mushroom for the vegetarians and chicken and seafood for the non vegetarians.
If fiery looking food is not your thing, then they have butter garlic flavors for those with milder palates.
Their curries are also picked from standard favorites and ghassies (coconut based), ambot tik (sour and spicy), Roce (from coconut milk) etc are available with fish, meat or vegetables.
The well known staple breads of Mangalore like the sanna, panpole, shevio and even Kerala parota and chapathi are available to accompany the various curries and so also are the white and red rice.
Mutton and pork is served and their Pork bafat and Coorg pork is quite the favorite among piggy lovers.
As far as beverages are concerned, apart from a few mocktails, they also serve the typical Kokum juice and Sol kadi of the region.
There is a small but eclectic choice of desserts with the popular Ragi manni (a finger millet pudding of sorts) being a ragi’ng favorite.
Other than the various a la carte choices, there also is a quick lunch option in the form of ‘Meals’ from Monday to Thursday from 12:30 PM – 3 PM. The fish meals are priced variably and depend on the accompanying fish of choice whereas their vegetarian and chicken meals are fixed in price.
What I indulged in –
Indulgence is an understatement because they pulled out all the stops in order to showcase their best dishes. And when almost every dish is a stunner, then it really puts the pressure on you to pick favorites 😀 I barely managed to nibble on each item, making an exception with the prawns which I swiped clean … but of course.
My curated menu consisted of Pomfret masala fry, Surmai tava fry, Kaney rava fry, Prawn ghee roast, Squid chilli, Crab butter garlic, Kubay sukka, Pork bafat, Mutton masala, Sanna, Shevio, Panpale and Ragi manni as dessert. Washing this down were a glass of chilled and brilliantly red kokum juice and a pale pink glass of mildly spiced Sol kadi.
The whole Pomfret smothered in masala was fresh and perfectly done in tongue tingling spices. This can be eaten on its own or even with something to mop up the thick masala.
Surmai tava fry was a generous slice of seer steak, crisp yet succulent and I will apologize but I have to keep repeating the word ‘perfect’ several times in this tale.
Kaney rava fry, the whole Lady fish encrusted in semolina and deep fried to a delectable crisp, bones and all !!!
Squid chilli, with rings of squid with a red yet not too spicy concoction clinging on to them. Lightly done till tender and succulent.
Prawn ghee roast … what can I say. My love for prawns is legendary and this version had me casting aside all apprehensions of the limited real estate space in my tummy and making sure that nothing stayed back in the dish.
The mutton masala was delightfully subtle in flavor and reminded me of the home cooked curries of my childhood.
The Pork bafat had a good mix of fat and meat (and at the risk of sounding like a bad Mangalorean, I must say I do love the meat over the fat).
Unable to make place for the sanna or shevio or rice, I opted for the Neer dosa (panpale or rice crepe) to mop up my gravies. They have mastered a recipe that makes them incredibly thin and soft, and an ideal instrument to scoop up the thick masalas.
Dessert was ragi manni (more on the rest of the mains later) and this little mould of ragi pudding was sweetened just right and had the lightly coarse texture of the millet, just the way I like it. However I am used to a slightly softer version and I found this to be set a bit too firmly for my liking.
Now back to the exciting stuff –
Kubay are tiny shell fish that we used to refer to as Cockle shells (clams of sorts). They are to be eaten with both hands and tongue of course, where one scoops out the masala and flesh and then licks the shell, oblivious of the shell shocked looks on the faces of other diners 😀 Likewise, the crab claws have to be clawed out frenetically in a bid to avoid wastage of even the tiniest amounts.
Being already stuffed to the gills (sorry for that pun :-D) and wanting to avoid scaring my co diners, I requested them to pack the crabs and Kubay for me. This of course was an excellent idea because I enjoyed them with both hands at my next meal in the privacy of my home with no one to judge me or to Clam’p down on how many I ate 😀
The kubay sukka was just right (the way I have always had it at home) and the crab … well I could write poetry to express what I felt.
If your life is dull and drab
Brighten it with The Konkan’s Crab
The crab was certainly far better than my poem but I am sure you can judge for yourself 😀
With meat that was sweet and fresh and flavors of butter garlic that perfectly complemented it, this was a dish I relished for over an hour at my table, taking into account the huge fella that I had to demolish, claw by meat laden claw !!!
The food is honest and made with love. Recipes have been researched from traditional kitchens. If you want to have a hearty meal and be assured of quality, then this place is where you can confidently go to.
Prices are marked on the standard fare but the fresh sea produce has daily varying prices which one can check on the Specials board displayed upfront (pun intended).
In addition to reasonably priced food and good portion sizes, they go crazy at times and come up with insanely good offers like Shrimp Thursdays where it’s a buy one get one free on all shrimp appetizers. Shrimply fantastic for those with a prawn obsession like me. They also have a 50% off on Chicken ghee roasts on Tuesdays.
The offers mentioned here change from time to time. Do check their page or phone them for the latest, when you decide to dine (which is my opinion you should so right away)
Contact for reservations –
The Konkan can be found here –
No. 48, 1st Floor, St Marks Rd, Above KC Das, Church Street, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001 –
Phone – 080 25593066
Timings – Open for lunch and dinner all days of the week
Aug 3rd, 2018