Banashankari Bangalore restaurant reviews

Sea Spice

Monday, June 21, 2010Me! In words

It has happened to us quite a few times that a new restaurant right next door is often relegated to the last of the to-visit list. This is what happened with Sea Spice which is at an obscure location in Banashankari, maybe 10 minutes from where we live. The first thing you notice on entering the restaurant is the framed award for the Times 'Best Coastal Food'. The restaurant is pleasant in terms of decor with a small terrace seating arrangement as well. On a full house day, the place can get crowded and noisy. 

Once settled we were handed the menus... we were teetotalers for the day and Sudhakar opted for a Elaneer (coconut water) that was to be spiked with mint. Sounded interesting. I went in for the Kokum sherbet. The sherbet was pleasant without being really refreshing. Have had better back home in Mangalore. 

Kokum Sherbet

Now for the Elaneer. Sudhakar was served a tender coconut, all gift wrapped in clear cling foil with a straw. From the hole on top, it was pretty obvious that there was no mint spiking the drink like mentioned in the menu. And so we called on the manager and asked him about it. The instant reply was, "But you asked for Elaneer!" To which we replied, "Yes we did, and the menu clearly mentions that the elaneer will be served spiked with mint." The gentleman replies, "Oh that! mint is optional, you have to tell us if you want it!"

Elaneer with the optional mint

No where in the menu is mentioned that the mint is optional. If its printed that way, you assume it going to be served that way, or the wait staff should inform you that the mint is optional. The same thing was taken back and a sprig of mint shoved into it and served. Hmmm.. so much for starters.

We decided to have the pomfret rava fry and the squid masala. These came soon enough. Let me begin with the squid. The masala of coconut, red chillies, a distinct Kundapur masala powder mix and a tempering of curry leaves made this dish super spicy and really nice... Would have gone great with some chilled beer. And now for the pomfret. I picked a piece that looked like the tail and had that to begin with. The rava coating was generous, but I really wished the masala applied before was a bit more spicier. When I picked up the second piece I found the bone upright instead of the customary flat for a pomfret. 

Squid masala - Spicy and nice

Pomfret Rava Fry - where slicing techniques matter a lot

I was pretty sure that it was not a pomfret and again we called on the manager. We showed him the bone and explained to him how the bones in a pomfret are flat. Moreover, we could not find the head of the pomfret anywhere. Following this he went into the kitchen and brought out an uncooked but marinated pomfret. That's when we realized that the chefs at Sea Spice don't seem to have got their fish slicing techniques right. Ordinarily, beginning right below the head and keeping it intact, a pomfret is sliced from fin to fin. This will give you the head, possibly two to three thick slices in between and a tail. In this case, the fish was halved from head to tail and the slices cut lengthwise rather than across the breadth. What I thought resembled the tail was actually this small fin-like thing. There was no head neither was there a tail. There may be a lot of people who slice their fish this way, but it is wrong and there is no way your marination will be absorbed. And for a restaurant that won best coastal food award... surprising. 

Anyways, we followed this up with an order of neer dosa, appams, Chicken munchi gashi and peas pulao. The neer dosa was fair, but again, nothing to beat the ones served at Suggis. The appams were average and I wonder why no one uses the appam kadai. Real appams as done in Kerala and even in Mangalore have fluffy thick centers with the circular edges being crisp. No one seems to do that in Bangalore. 

Neer Dosa (Above)
Appam and Chicken Munchi Gashi (below)

The Chicken Munchi Gashi was spicy again. Not in a bad way. It went well with the dosas and the appams. The quantity was generous. The peas pulao was really good, with the peas being nice and soft and the rice not being dry. This too went well in soothing the spice of the chicken curry. 

Peas Pulao

We didn't really want to have desserts, because we were really disappointed by now. The menu is also full of the common dishes that you would find at any multi-cuisine restaurant. So I don't see how being labelled a coastal restaurant fits into the scheme of things. But then hey, I do understand economics. The bill for this meal was Rs 1100 approximately. The ladies restroom is clean but situated a little outside the restaurant on the same floor. But for good Mangalorean food I would still vote for Kudlas, Mangalore Pearl and even Suggis. 

Address: #1890, 8th main, Kaverinagar, IInd stage, Banashankari, Bangalore - 560079
Phone: 26715060
Cuisine: Coastal, Multi-cuisine
Cards Accepted: Yes
Parking: Space for few cars outside the restaurant. If these are occupied its the street.

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