Friday, 23 November 2012

Coastal Junction, Bangalore

It was a pleasant Saturday a couple of month ago when my stomach craved from some good seafood while my heart wished for a restaurant with open seating to enjoy the lovely weather. With an aim to satisfy both my stomach and heart, I decide to head to Coastal Junction a roof top restaurant on 80FT Road, Indiranagar. The restaurant is located on the 5th floor of the building and is run by the owner of the building himself. This restaurant is lit by natural light of the sun during the day giving it a very fresh and natural feeling. The tables are well distanced and the bar at the entrance is well set up adding to the ambience of the restaurant. Coastal Junction happens one of the few fine dining restaurants in the Coastal Cuisine segment in Bangalore.

The word coastal tends to bring in an imagination or thought that the food would be mainly sea food fare with the menu holding limited variety for the vegetarians and the non vegetarian. While the menu does comprise of sea food, the restaurant focuses on the cuisine around the coastal belt of our country. Thus, having a lot to offer in vegetarian and non-vegetarian food which includes other meats as well. 

What we ate:
Being a lover of non-vegetarian food, my visit to Coastal Junction comprised of just sea food (read: fish) and Chicken with accompaniments. For the starters, I called for Fish Masala Fry and Meen Pollichathu. While the starters arrived, I was served some complimentary fried papadums with I guess a chutney and a pickle and a hot glass of rasam. While I sipped the hot rasam which was really flavorful and spiciness for perfect to my linking, I chose not to eat the papadums since I awaited the fish starters to arrive.

The first starter to arrive on my table was Fish Masala Fry which was one big piece of seer fish covered with a red spicy coating and curry leaves. The mere sight of this was an absolute delight. Before digging into it, I added a dash of lime for I like the freshness and tanginess that lime brings in to food especially if it is on the spicier side. The fish was fresh and well marinated with spices. The curry leaves brought in this wonderful flavor and combined well with the spices.
Fish Masala Fry

The next starter was a fish fillet that arrived wrapped in a banana leaf. Yes, it was Meen Pollichathu. The banana leaf was unwrapped and there it was a pomfret coated with spices waiting to be devoured. The fish was fresh, cooked just right to break easily and was good to taste. With the arrival of this dish, it was certain that the portions at Coastal Junction are big.
Left: Fish wrapped in leaf; Right: leaf unwrapped (Meen Pollichathu)

So ‘fish’ it was for the starters…

Moving on to the main course, I called for Chicken Coondapur and Chicken Varutharacha Curry and a couple of appams to go with it. The former was a coconut based semi-dry chicken with its roots from Coondapur/Kundapura a town in the Udupi district of Karnataka and the latter originates from the Malabar region of Kerala. While Coondapur is a grounded coconut based dish, varutharacha curry is roasted coconut based gravy. Both the dishes were good to taste, however, the chicken Coondapur famous for the flavor and content of ghee lacked any trace of it. To make a preferential comparison, Chicken Varutharacha Curry was a bigger hit with me. The appams were made fresh and served from a counter that was placed in one corner of the dining area.
Clockwise – Starting from left: Meen Pollichathu, Chicken Coondapur and Chicken Varutharacha Curry

I have also tried Chicken Sukka, fish fry for starters and Crab masala for the main course during my previous visit with a group of friends. The portions are good and tasty. The crab was meaty and fresh giving a very good flavor. Unfortunately, there are no pictures available of these dishes.

It was good to have a chat with the restaurant manager whose motto was to ensure a pleasant dining experience for every customer.  This belief runs down from the owner of the restaurant who drives the culture of ensuring customer satisfaction. This was also very clear from the actions and the body language of the staff. They were attentive and prompt in their service. 

The food was very good and definitely a restaurant I'd love to visit again and again for delicious coastal fare. I have been to Coastal Junction twice and can now claim that they have been consistent in food quality, taste and service.

A special mention of the restaurant manager who noticing that I am alone offered to provide half portions of starters thus; giving me a chance to sample and devour 2 varieties in starters as well as main course instead of the just 1 portion of starter and main course I would have been able to eat. For those wondering how I could eat 2 portions of starters and 2 portions of main course alone, here comes out the secret of my appetite – All portions were served as halves.

The tab for the food I ate came to about Rs. 650 with a glass of coke which is fair enough considering good quality sea food is served here and is one of the few restaurants in this cuisine to provide a fine dining option. 

Quick Tips:
Go: for a relaxed fine dine experience, great coastal cuisine.
Don’t go: if you do not prefer coastal cuisine.

Address: 80 Feet Road, Near BSNL office, Indiranagar, Bangalore

Disclaimer: Coastal Junction restaurant is temporarily shut down. Its management plans to relaunch this brand in a bigger way sometime during the 1st quarter of 2013 with 2 new locations – One in 100 FT Road, Indiranagar and another in JP Nagar.

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