Monday, June 18, 2012

Fishy Business

Review: Fresh Catch

Hidden away in what I would call ‘patli galli’ next to the Mahim station is this traditional Goan eatery called ‘Fresh Catch’. A board hangs there claiming ‘Gems of the Kokan Belt Cuisine’. Is it? Well we are about to find out. Also placed outside is a pelican with fish tale hanging out of its mouth. Cute! In a wierd way. Crowded and chattery with only about 6 tables, it starts almost where it ends. We wait for a while till we are guided to small table with traditional cloth mats.

Right opposite is the wall hanging with alot of media cut outs of all the reviews written. Think I missed this big time because I have never heard of this place and had to wait for this cute couple, I have befriended some time ago to introduce me to this place. The stout man in the photo’s comes to take are orders. He seems to be the owner and has had the privilege click pictures with Sachin (twice!), Busy bee and quite a few others!

Prawn Rechad

We open the menu, a mix goan Konkani dishes listed. I let the couple order- We order for Prawn Rechado – beautifully spiced shrimps that are soft and yet give you that crunch in your mouth. Impressed. The other dishes are suggested by the man in the photos/owner, Crab Butter Garlic- good but I prefer eating it with shell, this was the meat culled out and served. Next Calamari Chilli Fry – yum yum yum! Usually am not a very big fine of calamari but this one was not the chewy gummy kind, just beautiful soft rings. We had the Bombil Fry – crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside just like it should be, Grilled Rawas- soft succulently grilled fish that just melts in your mouth, the Clam Sukka – clams cooked in delicious masala and grated coconut. Slurp.

Clams Sukka

For the mains we order the Pomfret Rossa Curry and Neer Dosa- again delectable flavours, not too spicy, just right. I think to myself while I sit back and savour the meal, a satisfied grin on my face, how do only few restaurants get it right? The big launches, celebrity parties and all the hoopla, all in vain! Only a few restaurants get that. They get the fact that simplistic and true flavours and are the ones that really satisfy people. Fresh Catch definitely is one of them.

Pomfret Rossa

For desserts we have the Caramel Custard, the humble owner accepts that he likes the one at Britannia better. All we do is smile and savour the perfect end to the perfect meal.

A meal at Fresh Catch would cost anywhere between Rs 650 per head


Food: Yummy

Ambience: Simple

Service: Helpful

Quick Tip: Simple & true flavours. One of the best sea food restaurants in my opinion. Must have the Prawn Rechad & Calamari Chilli Fry.

Just by the way Culinary recommended this restaurant in Rashmi Uday Singh’s Bombay Times column, here is the piece.

The Co-ordinates:

Fresh Catch
Where: Lt. Kotnis Marg, Near Fire Brigade, Off L.J. Road, Mahim West, Mumbai

Tring Tring: 022 24448942, 022 32968981

Timings: 10am-3pm; 6pm -12midnight

Food Type: Seafood, Goan, Konkan

Payment Methods: Credit cards accepted

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ni Hao (hello) China

Review – China House
The Hyatt at Santacruz has this way of transporting you to foreign land with its long passages, mysterious dim lighting, high ceilings and beautifully mounted sculptures . And China House transports you to different era. A magnanimous wooden door leads you to a wooden patio area with cane shades, traditional Chinese dining area and elegant ponds. Go further and your taken into a dimly lit dining area decorated with ethnic Chinese tea pots and terracotta ware. This coupled with open kitchen, that seems to be well stocked with Chinese sauces and spices gives you an eclectic mix of the traditional and the contemporary. An oxymoron, in a good way ofcourse.

The menu is simplistic, limited and Sichuan to its truest (I don’t think we Indian’s can would be able relish any more Sichuan than this).  We are greeted with traditional cumcumber and pepper salad, I wouldn’t call it kimchi, it was much better! Sprinkled with sesame sead and light soy sauce it was delectable. Another nibler that they served was sesame caramelized walnuts. These were so yummy that we couldn’t stop munching on them.
Dumpling Soup
We order for the Traditional Hot & Sour Soup with Bambooshoots – just the right consistency not to thick not too watery, a hint of chilli oil and you taste the peppery broth of heaven. The Chicken Dumpling Soup was piping hot and nourishing.

Hot & Sour Soup

For appetizers we order Chicken Sui Mui – faint yellow parcels of steamed chicken; delicate but not very impressive. The second one – Crystal Prawn Dumplings – transulent almost crystal like as the name suggests delicate parcels filled with moist pieces of the crustacean were delectable. So much so that we ordered another portion.

Chicken Sui Mui

We also order a Wild Mushroom Salad – a cold appetizer, with a beautiful fresh flavor. Great for the summers.

Wild Mushroom Salad

For the main course we opt for the Claypot Chicken with Smoked Bamboo Shots and Chilli sauce – mildly spiced slow cooked chicken in a thick sauce with woody flavor of bamboo shoots. This coupled with the traditional fried rice made for a beautiful combination.

Claypot Chicken with Smoked Bamboo Shots and Chilli sauce

A meal for 2 without alcohol would cost anywhere between Rs 3000/- and Rs 4000/-

Food: Delectable
Ambience: Traditonal yet contemporary
Service: Helpful

Quicktip: Get your fix of traditional Sichuan cuisine, definitely try the crystal prawn dumplings! A bit steep, this place however is for when you want to make things memorable!

The Co-ordinates
China House
How to get there: Lobby Level, Grand Hyatt,  Santacruz East , Mumbai
Tring Tring: 66761149
Timings: 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM to Midnight
Food Type: Sichuan Chinese
Serves Alcohol: Yes, Also a lounge at nights
Payment Methods: Visa, Master, Cash

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