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30.07.2018

About half an hour into our lunch from Tom’s Restaurant, which is not a restaurant but a delivery place, we find ourselves planning a mini-break by the beach. It isn’t just our desperation for a vacation; the food demands that you crack a cold one open with the boys. Our excuse, we’re sticking to it. But let’s rewind.

Old ‘Ooru folk carousing around Richmond Town will remember the iconic green board of the idiosyncratically named Hotel Tom’s Restaurant. The same guys have just inaugurated a Koramangala edition. This does one better by dispensing with physical space altogether, making Tom’s Restaurant a concept: a belt-ghee-roast-in-pyjamas concept. However will we cope?

Tom’s choices are vast and redolent of beach shacks, hailing primarily from Mangalore and Goa, with bog-standard Sino-Ludhianvi starters thrown in. We stick to the tried and tested: prawn ghee roast, beef chili fry, chicken sukkah, and a brave foray into uncharted waters with a Bangada Ambot Tik, all chaperoned by a stack of appams and chapatis.

Delivery is prompt and glitch-free: we’re the real dangers to ourselves, as we sneak in a sly taste of the beef chilli fry while plating up. (Fire on the tongue; serves us right.) Prawn ghee roast is the first to fall to the appetites of the table, vanishing in a buttery cloud. These aren’t the freshest items in the sea, too rubbery to love, a sad accompaniment to appams that haven’t travelled especially well. We understand it’s tough, but we're really hoping for Tom’s to find a solution to this particular problem.

Much to our delight, Goan bangada ambot tik - mackerel drowning in sour and spicy gravy - is perfect, tenderly flaking off its delicate bones into a rich gravy. It’s sour enough to make us delightedly click our tongues and spicy enough to reach for the sugary cola we pulled out with to go with the beef. It’s a hard act to follow, but golden chicken sukka steps up to the plate with gusto. Pleasingly flecked with softened onions, chased by the warm aftertaste of fresh coconut, this wants not cola, but a tiki cocktail. Time to put on a mumuu and take a nap, thence to dream of Goa in the monsoons.

Getting there: Order online on Zomato, delivery around Koramangala. A meal for three costs around Rs 1,200.

Sushmita Sundaram writes about funny people, odd things, and anything edible. Follow her on Twitter at @sushmitas.

bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.

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