Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hotel Narayana - Mangalore's own Signature Restaurant for Authentic Seafood

Fish Curry rice in undivided South Kanara District is a phenomenal main course food since ages. Traditional fish curry is cooked in earthen pots and rice is cooked in copper pots on charcoal or wooden fire.

This tradition is fast fading due to modernisation, but one man lived up to his conviction and he not only cooked and served fish curry rice in the traditional way but also started his own style of fish tawa fried in Bunder. Today, this landmark has become a signature restaurant in Mangalore for exclusive but simple fish meal!

Late Narayana started this venture as a family tradition within his home. He himself cooked the food and his family members helped him serve that. The dark and dingy kitchen with smoked walls where he started his restaurant still remains there in my memory to tell a story and take me back in time when I started visiting there in the late Eighties when I was working for a Bank in Bunder Mangalore.

Then, Narayana with his sons and his family used to cook the fish curry to perfection and brown boiled rice steaming hot getting ready while thick chunks of Seer Fish, Pomfret and Mackerel used to sizzle on wood fire and his young energetic sons used to serve the food at amazing speed to satiate the hunger of drivers and laborers toiling in Bunder area of Mangalore!

The old house where Narayana started his Hotel
Now that old glory is past and they shifted to a new premises annexe the old house. Narayana is no more but his sons manage the show and cooking is mostly done on gas fire. However, the recipes remain the same, coconut oil is as pure as since Narayana used to add in his fish preparation and the slight tinge of peppery spice predominant in Kerala Billava food leaves one craving for more and more!
The all new Hotel Narayana
The typical fish curry rice includes decent heap of brown rice, a fish curry with a tiny piece of fish, a vegetable masala item that I don't mind asking for more, and a lemon or mango pickle that's spicy and tangy! This may cost little over Rs. 20/- per meal.
Typical Fish Curry Rice ready to be served
Unlimited Congi water(Boiled rice water) that they call THELI in local dialect is served along with the food in tall glasses. They also serve normal filtered water and have a stock of cold soft drinks and the tempting 'Masala Majjige' or spiced buttermilk to neutralise the effects of that deadly fish tawa fried and the dry masala powder that's served along with.
Fresh thick slices of Seer Fish ready for marination
The tawa fried fish is unique here. Rates vary according to season but the taste remains the same always! Thick heart shaped slices of Seer Fish, big mackerel, Black or white Pomfret, Sardines or any seasonal fresh fish is marinated with a spicy tangy tongue tickling freshly ground red masala and shallow fried in a pool of pure coconut oil till crisp. Then the pieces are collected separately and the dry masala powder is heaped alongside in the tray. The fried fish is traditionally served with generous topping of that roasted masala powder. The sizzling hot fried fish tempts one to go for one or two pieces at a time! They pack the fried fish in aluminum tray casseroles neatly if you wish to carry them home.

Tawa fried fish sizzling in hot pure coconut oil
Some people like to go raving mad over that masala powder from the pan and mix that with the rice to get a unique taste and flavor. I normally settle for one slice of Seer fish and one Mackerel. I personally feel their vegetable side dish is too good!
Hot Tawa Fried Fish with dry masala powder
Do visit there with your family if you like traditional sea food. It is near Badriya College Circle on Azizuddin Road near Sriram Sanitary. You may notice many high class people from corporate sector invading that place but getting totally bowled by the exotic food that you may not find elsewhere!

Their Phone Numbers are: 2440891(Landline) and 94482555025(Cell).

8 comments:

Govind said...

well written article about Narayana Fish Hotel Kudpi Raj :)
Got to know many things about this unique King Fish fry Place of Mangalore....
Thank you SirJi...:)

Lok said...

Hi there can you please tell me how to get there. Can you tell me the address. Thanks in advance!

vishak nayak said...

Thanx shenoy mam for such detailed info on seafood simple hotel. Today such hotels are seldomely to be seen in Mangalore. Than once again. Intend to visit such simple hotels as I am a fish lover n purely non veg preferred person. Thanx again.

Sachin, U.S. said...

Kudpi Raj maam.. I'm a fan of your blog. We've tried many of your recipes, and it has turned out to be awesome. We live in U.S. now, so can't visit Narayana often. I know you can taste any dish and suggest how to prepare it (like Railway chicken and Kubera). Could you please decode the recipe of Narayana for us Raj maam.

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Thank you Sachin for liking the blog.

We have prepared almost like Narayana's fish fry long ago, maybe in the mid Nineties, but not taken any pics. I will come out with the step by step recipe soon.

Akash Shetty said...

Yo Shenoy maam. Great way to put it. Another Narayana fan. See you on twitter maam.

Anonymous said...

Yo Shenoy maam. Great way to put it. Another Narayana fan. See you on twitter maam.

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Thank you Akash Shetty. I have a twitter account but stopped updating there. Shall followup soon.

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