Mangalore restaurants

Cruise and Dine - Mangalore

Tuesday, May 29, 2012Me! In words

I have been away from Bangalore for almost a month now. Summer vacations for the little one means we both need a change of scenery. Poor mum, has been hobbling back to normalcy after her knee surgery and is quite the sport despite her movements being restricted. Also since I have been out of Bangalore I seem to be missing out on several new dining experiences. With all of this forming the background, we thought of giving Mangalore's newest dining concept a shot. Mum was up to it and I any day and so we headed off to Bunder, to board Mangalore's first dine and cruise dhow.

Once you get to Bunder, which is really not all that far off, you don't have much to walk from the gate as the dhow is docked right there. This dhow has been brought in from Dubai and has been converted to have a restaurant on the top deck and an airconditioned dance floor and seating arrangement below. The afternoon cruise starts at 12 noon but you would do well to get there by around 11.15 AM if you would like to sit on the outer edge of the boat. These benches are cushioned and the rest of the seating is plastic chairs and tables. Junior did get a bit fidgety considering we were on board at 11.10 and in child hours she waited for an eternity. But once the boat left the jetty she was one happy puppy. 

A view of the boat


The top deck with a canopy and all is called Kudru or O2, the oxygen area. It also serves as the restaurant for the cruise. For most of the cruise, this is where you will be. You can climb up to the open air part of the deck and do a couple of "Titanic" styled photos if you want. The other end of the boat has a small cabin that is below the captain's and which seemed to be a popular photo taking spot as well. 

The lower deck is air-conditioned and called H20 - here is where a DJ will be at it belting out the latest in Bollywood. You can hear the same music on the deck above. The lighting below is very 70s disco and the place can be a respite from the heat if you need it. Low cushioned seating runs around the edges with small tables for your nibbles.

So this is how it works - to get on the boat you pay an entrance fee of Rs 250 a head and for children below 6 years its Rs 100. Once you get on board, the food and drinks that you order are priced apart from the ticket. Canned drinks are Rs 30, bottled water around Rs 15 and food subject to what you order.

And now for the food on board - I was told that the offers can be subject to change. The day's special was a non-veg combo meal which came with ghee rice, chicken gravy and one piece (this was specifically mentioned), a dry chicken and two pieces of fried fish (this was not mentioned but it did come). You also get a 250 ml sealed cup of water. Besides this there was a range of chicken and seafood options made in the standard favorites. We had to place our orders for the set meal and the items we wanted to try soon after we set sail. The nibbles would be served as and when they were ready and the meals would start rolling out around one. You can click on the picture below to check out the day's special when we were on the boat. 

The whiteboard with the day's specials - click to read

Hot chix - a Mangalore brand of fried chicken also has their set up on board and you can walk up to them and make a choice from spicy or medium spicy. Two pieces to a plate of rather plump sizes will set you back by Rs 120. It was sizzling hot, the inside was nice and soft and the outside crisp and spicy enough for junior to eat without complaint.

Hot chix - spicy

I for one don't let squid on a menu go by without ordering and adding to my mother's concern about my insides decided to go for squid chilli. Done in a typically bar style of Indo-chinese (very reminiscent of our Manipal days or should I say nights out), there was no scrimping on the amount of squid or the chilli used. A couple of aerated drinks are definitely in order when you have this. This cost us Rs 130.

Squid Chilli

Junior had recently been introduced to the joys of crabs. And as soon as she heard us reading it off the menu jumped up asking for it. And so Crab ghee roast found its way to the table. Hard to fault a ghee roast masala in Mangalore - and this was one really one of the good ones. But I had been spoilt by the massive crabs that dad had coincidentally bought in Bunder itself and found these a little too small and hollow my taste. Nevertheless, the masala alone is worth polishing off. This came at Rs 200.

Crab Ghee roast

And finally came our meal. The board mentioned a raita with the ghee rice which did not come. Honestly I saw that after I got hope and downloaded the pictures. Overall the meal was a nice one. I got more than one piece of chicken in my gravy and it was a nice one. The fish was obviously fried a while ago and so had lost some of its crunch, the fried chicken was ok.

The non-veg combo meal

We got on the boat on a Sunday afternoon and had on board around 80 people. The cruise begins at 12.PM and docks back at 3PM. The course is on the Phalguni River and you get to see a lot of river side activity of fishing boats, the making of dried fish and more. After a while of dirty waters, things clear up and the air is nice and breezy. There is a lot of music on board, VJs are also present with games and other interactive things going for those interested. The food can't be termed mindblowing, but is exactly what you would want to have when you are out with family. You will get your money's worth. When we got off the boat, the shortest description  I could think of for the experience was a Goa cruise with a nice meal to boot. The loos are surprisingly clean. 

There are several plans for the boat - promoting it for corporate events is one of them. Introducing a buffet system is another. Family functions would be brilliant here, especially at night. The day cruises don't happen through the week and you need to call in to make sure about them. The evening cruises begin at 7PM and come back at 11PM. 

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