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***The Open Box***Anju's Cafe***Toast and Tonic***Part 3 of my series on Miltry Hotels in Bangalore***

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Houseboat cuisine

When in Cochin, we took an overnight trip on a houseboat from Alleppey (Alapuzha). It was a 60 km drive to Finishing Point. This is the place where the Jawaharlal Nehru Snake Boat Race finishes. We were three families and had hired a two-bedroom houseboat with extra beds. We boarded the boat just in time for lunch, though you can get on as early as 11.30 (hehehe talk about being strategic). The price of the boat includes, lunch, dinner, snacks and the next day's breakfast. In addition to the food they served, we stopped at a backwater toddy shop, picked up some fresh toddy as well as some extra food. We also bought some great tiger prawns for dinner. Here is the lowdown on what we ate.  

There was the ever famous kari-meen, fried to crisp perfection. The masala here was much drier and thinly laid on than what we had at Catch and Cook. This made the outer layer crisp and the fish soft on the inside.

Beans sukka, kerala style

Olan - a Kerala style vegetables in coconut

A really yummy shredded cabbage dish

Boiled rice - the white variety

Kappa - Tapioca - this is one of the dishes along with the fish curry (below) that was picked up from the toddy shop. A typically Kerala dish and one that is bowl licking good. These are the kind of dishes that allow you to put dining etiquette in the dustbin for a while.

Cockles - though tasty, I really missed on having to scoop the bits of flesh from the shells. This was already done and was tossed with chilli, garam masala and chips of coconut. This too was from the toddy shop.

A nice and homely vegetable sambhar

This was a chilli beef from the toddy shop. The meat was a bit tough and the masala raw, but apparently that's the way to best enjoy this when sipping on toddy. 

This is what the houseboat cooks did to the prawns. The cracked them from head to tail down the center. Passed a skewer through them, marinated it in masala and then roasted them. The result was fabulous. Since they were split open already, we could scoop out the meat easily and since it was grilled, the shell was nice, crisp and great to nibble on... in the end, we were left with just the heads. There was also a simple salad and some papads to nibble on.

All of this great food was had with toddy in the afternoon, though I personally don't like the taste of toddy. In the evening there was red wine and Glenfiddich... couple this with absolutely pristine greenery and water all around and you can beat any restaurant in terms of ambiance and quality. Evening snacks was banana fritters and coffee/tea. The next morning was omelettes with idlis and sambhar. This again was served on the ride back to Finishing Point and what a wonderful way to end the trip.


Lokesh said...

Sorry guys... but can you focus on Bangalore instead of other cities please? Also try finding the real Bangalorean food instead of just saying "You can't find Kerala style food in Bangalore". Pls explore the real bangalore hidden in the south and old bangalore and you'll be surprised. Thanks

Bangalore's Restaurants said...

Hi there Lokesh
Not really sure what you mean "real Bangalorean food"? If you look through the restaurants featured, a large part of south bangalore has been visited... again as far as "old bangalore" is concerned, don't really know what you are referring too.

And my blog is about the places I personally visit and so the focus is bound to change depending on the places I go to... but again, since we live in Bangalore, the majority are from here. If you have some specific suggestions on places to visit, please do share them.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ruth,
What is houseboat you went on called? It sounds super - i want to go! Are they all year round? How much does it cost?


Bangalore's Restaurants said...

Hey there Anonymous
The houseboats are all in Alleppey. There are several travel agents out there who will organize things for you. Houseboats are there all the time except of course for the rains... there is choice of 1 up to 4 bedroom (A/C / Non/AC) options... Prices vary according to your choice. generally a two-bedroom A/C bedroom in peak season is around 6k. You can choose overnight options or breakfast to dinner options. The one we went on was organized by some cousins so I don't really know the details.


The Coffee Cup said...

The blog is a recent discovery and yes am so enjoying it. Thanks to my shared love for food, love for eating out. Hey I wud love to hear about Great food corners in b'lore, but hey definitely hope you don't keep a boundary to your culinary adventures. Food from any corner, any toddy shop, any fine-dining after all's all about sweet, spicey, and all the inbetween flavours.

Bangalore's Restaurants said...

Thanks Coffee Cup, appreciate it...

Lokesh said...

Thanks for taking my comment seriously Ruth. Don't get me wrong, i have been to cochi, allepey and Kumarakoam and the food is no doubt good. But it shldn't be compared to BLR which has so much cosmopolitan presence that no one pays attention to it's local identity. It's a different thing that every one who's not from BLR may not like it as much as not everyone who goes to cochin will like Karimeen polichatu. Here's a few super hideouts in BLR which are truly BLR and I strongly recommend your team visit these if they haven't
1. Adigas next to Manipal towers (Kensington Rd)
2. Food street at V.V.Puram
3. Komala Vilas on Wheelers road
4. Nagashree for Kannadiga non veg meal on double road (Raagi ball and Kheema curry/lamb curry just rocks here)
5. Brahmins Cafe for the best idli's and coffee in the world
5. Veena stores on Margosa road for the best idli, vada, kesari bath combo
6. janata hotel in Malleswaram and Vidyarthi Bhavan in Basavangudi for the best dosas in the world.
7. Coastal express (Shiva nanda circle) and Kudla (near Kanteerava stadium0 for awesome Mangalorean experience.
8. Gazzillion north Karnatakan hideouts in Rajajinagar which just rock.
9. New Krishna Bhavan on Margosa road, Malleswaram which invented mini idli's
10. Bangalore's Signature eatout - MTR

I'll add more when i recall the other super shakes in BLR... But bottom line is that you shldn't be around the new townships or the cantonment section of bangalore which is truly... not Bangalorean at all!!!

Lokesh said...

BTW... when I was in Kumarakoam, i discovered something which made Toddy (not arrack) taste awesome..... I mixed it with coke/pepsi... it rocks... give it a try :-)

Bangalore's Restaurants said...

Hi Lokesh
Thanks for all the suggestions. Have been to most of them when I was working full time and before I started the blog. In fact... my office was next to Food Street. I don't think I have drawn comparisons between Bangalorean and any other cuisine because honestly a comparison cannot be made.

Again, this blog is more like an online diary of the places I have visited and those that interest me. Am not really out to promote any one cuisine or culture. Most of the places you mentioned are landmark and enough and more has been said on it. My blog is more about my own personal eating out experiences (no team really, just me, my husband and daughter).

Honestly considering we stay in South Bangalore, we have covered most of the places here. Cantonment has not really been on our radar so far.

Anyways... what I mean to say is that I don't really have an agenda when it comes to places I cover and don't mean to put one state over the other...

Do keep the suggestions coming.. :)


Michelle Peters - Jones said...

Ruth, you're making me homesick. I think I am going to go out and look for some fish so I can make fish curry!!


Lovely blog, keep up the good work.

Zorro64 said...

SLUUUUURPPPPP !!!!! You made me get hungry right after breakfast. The descriptions and the photos have made me hungry.... I am going to Cochin for my next holidays......

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmmmm Yummmy I loved the pics of the prawns and the fish wow. Amazing wish I could visit the place sooooon. Good Review Ruth but would be great if you could also provide us with details of the travel arrangement and the cost involved.


Bangalore's Restaurants said...

Hi Sahan
Thanks... if you look at my response to Anonymous, fourth comment from beginning, you should get an idea. Don't know the exact name of the travels... but you will get an idea of costing..



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