The taste of the sea

Coastal Cuisine

The taste of the sea

Tucked away on a bustling street in Shivajinagar, the bright blue building that hosts Samudra — a tiny little seafood joint — is actually very hard to miss.

Established in 1986, this restaurant has built a customer base of the seafood-lovers living in and around the area.

Though it started off as a family bar and restaurant, Samudra underwent a makeover after its owner, William passed away. His wife, Alphonsa William, turned the place into a full-fledged restaurant — and ever since then, people with a craving for all things seafood have been flocking to the eatery in huge numbers.

“Those were the years when Bangalore started being a pub city. Every other place had a small pub and people would come in to socialise over a few drinks and food. But then, after the death of my husband, we discontinued the bar but kept the restaurant running,” recalls Alphonsa.

Her son Sujith William, who helps her at the eatery, adds, “My father was always a social person. And this place was his dream. He wanted to highlight the food from Kerala — and since we’re from the coastal side, seafood had to be the priority.”

Just like the name suggests, the majority of the menu at the restaurant comprises seafood.

But what really makes this place stand apart is the fact the each morning, Alphonsa heads out to the market to pick the meat and fish herself. And all the items on the menu have been conceptualised and made by her. Like most good cooks, she doesn’t give away her recipes.

“These are things we have learnt from our families and I can’t give them up so easily,” she laughs, adding, “every dish on the menu is special to me and my goal is to give my customers good-quality Kerala seafood.”

Non-vegetarians can have a field day with the variety of prawn, fish, crab and even squid-based dishes. For those who are new to the cuisine, there is a variety of thalis or combos.

The fish thali serves three varieties of fish preparations and the combos — also called the ‘hot bread combos’ on the menu — are apt for those who want to eat something light.

“The ‘hot bread combo’ serves either chicken, fish or prawn curries with either chapatis, appams or rice. They are not too heavy on the stomach and give a good introduction to the cuisine itself,” Sujith adds.

The chicken and fish biryani here are unlike those found at other places. “The taste is a little different and it’s a big hit among our customers,” Alphonsa says. Most of the customers are the people who work around the area. Many swear by the food here and even look forward to festivals for the ‘special’ lunch.

“During Christmas, Easter, New Year and even Onam, we have special dishes. For Christmas and Easter, we make roasted turkey and duck. And this year, for the first time, we held an Onam sadya, for which we received a good response,” adds Sujith.

Open on all days of the week. Samudra is located on Lady Curzon Road, opposite Bowring Hospital, Shivajinagar. For details, call 25592394 or 9886090790.

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