As the Indian seafood market continues to grow, restaurants located in metro cities are introducing new options on their menus and turning things up a notch. So, we thought it would be befitting to speak to LFEGA 2020 jury members and get them to reveal their go-to seafood restaurants across Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai. These diners offer the right balance of flavours and textures. Plus, we also culled out restaurants with the highest ratings and praises on social platforms, so you can make an informed decision on where to get your fill of Vitamin Sea!
Bastian, helmed by celeb chef Boo Kim, aspires to give customers a taste of well-thought out dishes with a range of offerings that make use of freshwater seafood. Chef Kim uses local ingredients to create comfort food with a modern twist and it is one of D’Souza’s favourite seafood joints in the city.
2) Mahesh Lunch Home
Around since 1977, Mahesh Lunch Home remains one of the oldest and most cherished seafood restaurants in Mumbai. The plethora of dishes available here rely on native Malvani, Mangalorean, Konkan and Maharshtrian recipes. If you are a gourmand, it should be on your must-visit list.
Ministry of Crab is, one of Sri Lanka’s most popular chefs, Darshan Munidasa’s pet project. From garlic chilli to butter pepper crabs,this place is a haven for seafood lovers. After garnering immense success in Colombo, Shanghai and Manila, the award-winning franchise opened in Mumbai’s Khar West in 2018 and became an instant hit among seafood connoisseurs.
This popular seafood joint is a must visit foodie spot in Mumbai. Trishna’s lip-smacking menu offers a range of seafood dishes such as butter garlic crab, bombil fry, gassi, prawn koliwada and Hyderabadi pomfret. The food is invariably the show stopper of this no-frills haunt, which has a humble ambience.
5) O Pedro
The food at O Pedro draws from Goan and Portuguese influences, offering a spread that is modern and traditional in equal measure. “The chilled chilli snapper ceviche is my top pick here and so is the crispy soft shell crab kismur. Both the dishes pack a punch and the tartness from the kokum in the Beryl's prawn curry has my heart,” says D’souza. Whereas, for Bose, it’s the soft shell crabs that are a winner.
1) Sea Salt
Restaurateur Sandesh Reddy’s Sea Salt goes beyond the purpose of offering home style seafood and makes a concerted effort towards the welfare of local fishermen. So, at Sea Salt, the daily catch determines the day’s menu where you can take a pick from the catch. “It’s almost like going to your favourite aunt or uncle’s house and telling them what fish you’d like and how you’d like it to be cooked. The Madras curry version is terrific! Sustainable fishing and home-style recipes from coastal belts across Southern India make Sea Salt a winner,” says Ashwin.
View - Taj Fisherman’s cove Resort and Spa
Bay View’s ambience sets the tone for the perfect seafood experience with its thatch-roof gazebos and swinging palm trees. The menu offers prawn, lobster, squid, kingfish and mackerel, among others prepared in an authentic Chettinad style, such as steamed idiyappam, local ponni rice batter fried anchovies and tiger prawns.
At The Marina, located in Nungambakkam, you can experience seafood dishes that go beyond regular Chettinad fare and explore offerings from Mangalore and the Malabar coast. Customers get to pick from the freshly laid out options—lobsters, salmon, snapper, calamari and more. What's more? You also get to pick your choice of gravy, sauce, marinade and the way you’d like it to be cooked.
Since its inception in 1989, ITC Hotel’s Dakshin restaurant has been preserving the culinary heritage of the four southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. A few notable options from their menu are Dakshin yera, mamasam kajeput and Kerala chicken served with warm and pillow-y appams. They use regional spices and traditional methods of cooking, which help further uplift the flavour.
Karavalli has been a hit among patrons for more than two decades. The well-researched menu focuses on the Southwestern coastal belt with authentic vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. “I love the way Chef Naren has ensured that his team has travelled to each of the states the restaurant is trying to draw inspiration from. They even use indigenous utensils to retain authenticity. The ingredients, too, are sourced from the four states!,” says D’souza. Ashwin adds that dishes such as the fried kane (lady fish) and the black pomfret, marinated in Malabar masala, wrapped in a banana leaf and pan-fried to perfection, are the mainstays of the menu.
Kudla serves authentic Mangalorean seafood along with other delicacies from the Konkan coast. “They do not scrimp on portion size and know their masalas well. Try ordering a pomfret masala fry and you will get one that is coated in meet mirsang, a Mangalorean marinade made with chilli, salt and vinegar. The marwai sukka is my favourite, but I also love the chicken or squid ghee roast,” D’souza shared.
Sea Rock serves authentic Mangalorean food along side a mix of Kannadiga staples. ”This is a really old restaurant that has moved around the city a bit, but serves brilliant seafood no matter where it goes. I love the besta soup here, which is a traditional seafood soup from the coastal parts of the state. The kane rava fry looks gorgeous and comes in an even coat of semolina over a bed of red masala,” gushes D’souza.
Bringing the flavours of the Southern coast to the capital city, Sana-Di-Ge is an award-winning restaurant. The seafood here is infused with spices native to the states of Karnataka and Mangalore. Some of their legendary offerings include jengi ghee roast, masala manji, denjirasa, meenpacche masala and mutton curry.