Sunday, August 7, 2011

Aaah Apoorva!

This is one of the earlier Manglorean Seafood restaurants in Mumbai before the craze for Coastal food became trendy, the others being Mahesh Lunch Home and Trishna.

Apoorva started circa 1992 and I used to go there for lunch when working at Crawford Bayley. I think that Mahesh was older and far more low key. Over time Mahesh has seemingly lost the plot and gone more and more upmarket. It now boasts branches. Trishna is the newest of this trinity and has gone on to become a fixture on the upmarket tourist circuit catering people who want to eat `authentic’ Indian seafood. Mind you, Trishna is very good at what it does, and their Butter Garlic crab and Butter Garlic Prawn are truly exceptional. For vegetarians there is the Butter Garlic French Beans, but I digress.

Apoorva has remained the same from the time it has opened almost 20 years ago. The food has maintained its high standards over the years. Please do not go here to eat Chinese or Punjabi food. They don’t have much of a clue as far as this is concerned. Please do remember that most of the food is coconut based, so if you don’t like coconut and are forced to eat the other cuisines, you will be fairly unhappy. The Tandoori Crab and Tandoori Pomfret are perhaps the only exceptions of Punjabi food that are good, actually very good.

To start have a Prawn Koliwada [battered and deep fried] or Crisp Bombil (Bombay Duck) or even a Fish Hyderabadi Tikka [boneless Pomfret or Rawas in a green spice rub cooked in a tandoor]. Recently, on the recommendation of the ever smiling and helpful Vijay, we had Prawns Kadipatta. This was truly delicious, prawns sauteed with loads of Kadipatta and a hint of dried red chilly. You could also have the Squid Butter Garlic, much nicer than the same old Prawns Butter Garlic. If you are in the mood have a Tandoori Crab. Eating this is hard work but well worth it. 

For your main meal, you must have what they describe as `Manglorean Ticklers’. These are all the Manglorean classics. You can have a “Sukka” [thick almost dry gravy] of Prawn, Shellfish, Squid, Chicken or Mutton. Or a “Ghassi” [much more liquid than a Sukka, almost sauce like consistency] with Prawn or Fish or Chicken. Apoorva has the finest gravies, quite authentic and true to their Manglorean roots. One of my favourites are Prawns Sukkha. 

Instead of the usual Tandoori Roti please do try the Neer Dosa or an Appam. They have something that they call Hyderabadi Daal. This is a Daal of unknown parentage but delicious. 

The deep fried fish slices are unfortunately almost always overcooked and dried out. This is a problem with all restaurants in India, fish is always overcooked. 

You could also have an Appam & Stew. Not the best but certainly worth having. The Kori Roti [Chicken Curry on a crisp Dosa] is another must-try.

All in all a good place to go to. Actually a very good place.



Crispy Bombil - Bombay Duck

Prawns Koliwada
Squid Butter Garlic

Prawns Kadipatta

Dal Hyderabadi

Shellfish Fry

Kori Gassi - Chicken Curry
Kori Roti - The Kori Gassi on the crisp Dosa

Appam

Neer Dosa

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