When a person like Ganesh Rao has been in the seafood business for over 20 years and opens a restaurant, you know you can expect a good line-up of fresh specials from his coastal hometown, Mangalore. Teaming up with executive chef, Gregory Lobo, the duo has come up with a menu that covers everything that coastal cuisine is about. Sea Route is located in Rajajinagar, a bit far from the city centre, but is well worth a visit.
The space is large and designed for different types of seating — intimate meals to open dining.
We began our odyssey with stuffed crab meat served in a shell, topped with grated cheese and cubes of fish cooked in a mild mustard and egg batter. The crabs were deliccious and the fish, though pleasant, was quite unremarkable.
For those who enjoy the tiny silver fish, fried to crisp crunchy perfection, they have them here. And we devoured a plateful, head, tail and all. You cannot go wrong with tiger prawns slow cooked with spices and ghee, unless they have been overdone. These were cooked in the right amount of spices, without being smothered in heat and oil. I’m not a big fan of seer fish but try the slices here that are coated in wet spices and gently pan fried. Very typical of small restaurants in Mangalore that get this dish just right. The tawa-fried pomfret is another spicy dish we really enjoyed and again attacked the head and tail and did it full justice. Mussels in a coconut seasoning were nice enough but no comparison to the other dishes. For a change of pace we tried the chicken shaslik on skewers with bell peppers. While it was perfectly adequate, it is best to concentrate on the seafood.
Thin neer dosas made out of ground rice were perfect to mop up the gravy of Goan fish curry. And the rich, red, spicy Mangalorean curry, which also went perfectly with plain, steamed rice. If you want something sweet to end with, then try Rao’s recommendation — a light tender coconut souffle.
Rs1,200 upwards. MK Towers,
1st Stage, Rajajinagar.