If you have a mother with Mangalorean background, then you are sure to have relished cuisine from this region. But nothing can compare the gastronomic experience that you will have in this coastal state. If you’re dying to taste some of Mangaluru’s authentic and mouth-watering dishes, then avoid the jazzy restaurants and instead try out some of their shacks. These almost run-down but cozy places serve up some of the best delicacies that this coastal town has to offer. Here are a few places that you must try when in this state.
Hotel Fishland (Rs 200 per head)
Situated on the highway, this Dhaba style restaurant is a great place to start your seafood adventure in Mangaluru. Be sure not to ask for a menu as there isn’t one. The fish meal here is a must. On a banana leaf, you will served boiled rice (or white rice) with a bunch of accompaniments — — pickle, cabbage, etc and fish or chicken curry. So where are the fish and seafood? The minute you are served a meal, a waiter will come with a tray full of seafood both — masala fried and rava fried. A must-try is the Anjal and Bangude fish fry with the meal.
Hotel Giri Manja’s (Rs 200 per head)
One look at Giri Manja’s and you would never want to enter it. But it is the food that they serve there that will surprise you. As you sit down, you are given a Kokum-based drink. Although the fish meal seems to be common throughout Mangaluru, they have long list of seafood that is a must-try. Crispy fried silverfish that can be eaten whole, a mackerel that is fried and served with a tongue-tingling masala, coriander and mint marinated and fried squid and crispy fried prawns. Tasting each of these, you can feel the freshness wafting through it. One unique thing that is made in-house and is a must-try is their lemon juice. Unlike the ones that we are used to, these come served ice cold in a glass bottle, layered with coconut cream on top. You may have to get there early or you will have to wait for quite some time. With limited seating, the place fills up very fast.
Ideal Ice Creams (Rs 125 per ice cream)
Rumour has it that Ideal’s were the firsts to invent the ever famous Gadbud ice cream. After a heavy and spicy lunch, head to this place to cool down the original gadbud ice cream. Though there are quite a lot of innovative ice cream concoctions on the menu like the Tiramisu Sundae, the gadbud is worth a try. Complete with three different flavours of ice cream – Vanilla, Strawberry and Pista, the ice cream comes loaded with fresh fruits and jelly.
Mary Bai (Rs 140 per head)
Mary Bai might a little hard to find. There is neither a signboard nor any indication to tell you that the restaurant is there. The restaurant is literally an extension to the owner’s home. Like any other shack restaurant in Mangaluru, Mary Bai serves up simple but yummy home-cooked food. Set with benches and tables you are transported to the old world. Looks like the fish meal is common everywhere! Apart from Tawa fried fish, you must sample the pork in a bafat masala, chicken ghee roast and beef simmered in spicy chili gravy. So if you’re not a huge fan of seafood then, this will surely fill up your tummy.