Maravanthe summons images of an endless road that runs past the sea on one side and the river Sauparnika on the other. A Manglorean restaurant named after this coastal village has docked below Indiranagar’s favourite dive bar, Shalimar. The pillars and glass walls are etched with coconut trees and beach scenes, making it the most agreeable Sunday lunch spot in the city. Unless you’re susceptible to seasickness, that is.
Gassi Van Sant
With manager Radhakrishna as captain, we set sail by ordering sear tawa fry, prawn ghee roast and urval off the concise menu. The sear is subtly seasoned and breaks open to reveal flaky insides; prawn with light coconut masala coating is deliciously nuanced despite dripping in ghee. Double fried in coconut oil with tomato and ground spices, urval chicken takes some adjusting if you aren’t a fan of coconut. A chilled bowl of cucumber onion salad cuts through the bulk of our appertisers.
Mates, you will be happy to know that the meal at Maravanthe gets progressively better. Kundapur chicken masala with its beautiful ochre-coloured gassi is loaded with flavour and accompanied by a steaming trio of pundi (rice dumplings) that crumble on cue to soak up the gravy. This is a common feature in Malnad and Kodava cuisine, but at Maravanthe, the added spices give it a mild herby after-note that we love. But it is the pulimunchi with mackerel and mandatory neer dose that really transport us to a sunny beach; all that is missing is a gentle hit of toddy. The tangy pulimunchi is made with kokum, the tart star of Mangalore’s cuisine. While we love Unicorn on Infantry Road and will tolerate Mangalore Pearl in Fraser Town, we promise that no pulimunchi in the city has tasted this authentic.
Moves Like Jaggery
We lose track of time in this coastal village, knowing our trip has come to an end when presented with ragi manni, an earthy, gelatinous pudding made of finger millet and jaggery and topped with dry fruits. You can also order Gadbad ice cream, Mangalore’s most famous export after neer dose, which the staff is currently doggy bagging for us along with Kundapur chicken masala, for that ochre, sun-kissed glow that says I just got back from the beach.
Getting there: 322/1, 1st floor, CMH Road, Indiranagar, call 08049653410. A meal for two costs approximately Rs 1,800.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
Accessibility: One step up to access the elevator, which opens to the 1st floor seating. Valet parking not available.
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