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    The much-awaited annual seafood festival is back at the popular Karavalli, starting today

    NAREN Thimmaiya is back with his annual Aqua fest — a delightfully curated line up of dishes that draw on the flavours of Mangalore, Coorg, Kerala and Goa. The menu is a veritable sea foodies’ delight and includes octopus, mud crabs, scampi, lobster and all the local favourites. Thimmaiya has also created a slew of new dishes, “in order to give our regulars something new to look forward to.” Depending on the response he will add them to the daily menu.

    Making the list
    We suggest you start with the kane jeera meera – typically Mangalorean with a well-balanced blend of cumin and pepper that coaxes the mild white fish to open up nicely. The Syrian meen roast is another successful experiment with slices of seer soaked in Kerala spices and lightly grilled.

    Getting to crustaceans
    Two dishes from Goa make the cut here. Kurle ambet (mud crabs) and shevai ani refogado, a very unusual pulao made of string hoppers and seafood. If you haven’t been here before, you must try Thimmaiya’s traditional favourites. His signature tiger prawns tossed in a finger-licking good mix of tomato, ginger, green chillies and spices (there’s no other way to describe it) with enough heat to get your saliva glands going but not overpowering enough to numb your tastebuds. And Allepey fish curry redolent with fresh coconut, slivers of ginger and green mango. All these dishes go well with their light Ramaserri idlis, lacy appams or paper thin neer dosas.
    Till November 30. Meal for two Rs2,500++. At The Gateway Hotel, Residency Road. Details: 66604545

    —Jackie Pinto

     

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