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    Mahabalipuram’s popular calamari destination, Moonrakers, comes to town, promising seafood caught by line

    From the large cartwheels that adorn the entrance, to the no-fuss wooden chairs and seafood displayed on trays — B Anandam has taken three months to recreate the weekend experience that many of us have grown to love. This is why he waited four years to get the right location, on Anderson Road no less, and carts fresh catch all the way from Mahabalipuram to his restaurant, Anand’s Sea Food Point Moonrakers, every day. “This road is calm, like our location in Mahabalipuram,” smiles Anandam, who has reinvented an old house by painting the walls in colours that make you forget you are in the heart of a city. The large portico has been converted into a shack offering al fresco seating, amidst potted plants and crustaceans splashed on the walls. The four-day-old Anand’s Moonrakers is incidentally just a street away from The Marina, restaurateur Mahadevan’s seafood restaurant that also promotes the hook and line method of fishing.

    MOONRACKERS7The backstory
    Interestingly, Anandam is the youngest of three brothers who started Moonrakers back in 1994. “Tourists were the only ones who visited Mahabalipuram back then and we catered to them. Once locals started frequenting Mahabs, we added some signature masalas to the menu that have remained the same ever since,” he says. Owing to differences in opinion, they decided to go their separate ways in 2011, and while his older brothers took over Moonrakers and Blue Elephant (the twin restaurant opposite the original on Othavadai Street) respectively, Anandam decided to bring the brand to the city.

    MOONRACKERS9What you get
    Save for a few opening day glitches like the chef pulling our red snapper off the tawa a little too soon, nothing has changed as far as the food goes. The menu is the same, with all their signatures like the calamari and garlic butter sauce, pepper fried prawns, honey-banana pancakes (available all day), etc. “Except for the squid, which we have always sourced from Chennai, the fish we serve is caught by line in Mahabalipuram,” Anandam explains, adding that fish caught by hook and line remain fresher than those caught in a net. The only downside to this is that they can’t assure you the same catch every day. “Most often it’s snapper, shark, king fish, pomfret or tuna,” says the fan of Malabar seafood, who promises home delivery in a month. We hope he also considers opening for breakfast as well.
    Meal for two at approximately Rs. 800. Details: 9940172351

     

    — Ryan Peppin

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