[Statutory Warning—Read after meals.]
Being the largest peninsula in the world has its perks – seafood being the only one we really care about. Having 3/4th of your land surrounded by a coastline means that fish have found their way into almost every cuisine in India, and there definitely isn’t a dearth on the variety of seafood dishes on offer. Bombay, boasting quite the coastline itself, is home to many a seafood restaurant – but where can you find the best meals? Well, that’s where we come in. To please the seafood aficionados, Homegrown has picked out some of the best restaurants that offer rather delightful seafood meals. Make sure you read this post lunch.
Go here for: Manglorean seafood
Though it’s a tough place to locate, nothing can stop Trishna from being packed at mealtime. Their juicy Butter Garlic Crab is probably the dish that keeps the loyalty flowing and is unlike anything you’re likely to taste in the city. The prawns koliwada, butter garlic squids, tandoori fish and rawas hyderabadi are also more than satisfactory. The only drawback is usually the wait for a table.
Homegrown’s Pick: Butter Garlic Crab
Meal for 2: A tad expensive @ Rs. 1800 but entirely worth it
Where: 7, Sai Baba Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai; 022 22703213, 022 22703214
Timings: 12 Noon to 3:30 PM, 6:30 PM to 12 Midnight.
II. Fresh Catch
Go here for: Ma ke haath ka khana
Few restaurants offer a home-style food experience, yet, a little trip to Fresh Catch will provide you with a taste right out of your mother’s rasoi. And It’s not just about the seafood for Fresh Catch; the ingredients are just as important. Considering the dishes are made using the owner, Francis Fernandes’s mothers’s own recipes, it’s not hard to fathom why. Their menus one of the more generous ones too with all kinds of delicious offers right from the rossa and ambotic curries to the prawns rechado and the Konkan treasure prawns.
Homegrown’s Pick: Crispy Fried Bombil OR Konkan treasure prawns
Meal for 2: A bang for your buck @ Rs. 800
Where: Lt Kotnis Marg, Near Fire Brigade, Off L J Road, Mahim West, Mumbai; 022 24448942, 022 32968981
Timings: 12 Noon to 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM
III. Oh! Calcutta
Go here for: Authentic Bengali seafood (Read: Maacher Jhol)
While being in Mumbai gives us the cream of the crop as far as West-coast seafood cuisine is concerned, we tend to forget about the delicacies of the east. Oh! Calcutta, with its authentic Bengali food, is more than a subtle reminder of that.
A second home for true-blooded seafood aficionados, the smoked hilsa is a popular dish here. Other mouth-watering dishes include the chingri cutlets, chingri malai curry and of course, every Bengali’s go-to meal–maachher jhol. The food is a tad expensive, but that’s mostly because the fish is especially flown in from Kolkata and not bought from the local markets!
Homegrown’s Pick: Smoked Hilsa
Meal for 2: Worth splurging your savings on @ Rs. 1200
Where: Hotel Rosewood, Tulsiwadi Lane, Mahindra Heights, Tardeo, Mumbai; 022 23539114, 022 23533115
Timings: 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM
Go here for: North-Indian styled seafood
Several seafood restaurants existed before it, and several new ones have popped up since, but none have managed to replace Gajalee’s top bidding. Voted the best seafood restaurant for many years, Gajalee has no dearth of brilliant seafood options. Yet, we pick the Tandoori Crabs – simply because it is cooked to perfection. Others include butter garlic lobsters, clam koshimbir, clam masala, stuffed bombil and…well, the list could go on and on, really. Like many who follow on this list, they also have seafood thalis, so if there’s one place we strongly recommend, it would be this!
Homegrown’s Pick: (No surprises here) Tandoori Crabs
Meal for 2: Cheap for the standard of food @ Rs. 1200
Where: Amrapali Shopping Center, VL Mehta Marg, JVPD Scheme, Juhu, Vile Parle West, Mumbai; 022 26107040, 022 66960902
Timings: 11 AM to 3 PM, 6:30 PM to 12 midnight
VI. Mahesh Lunch Home
Go here for: A huge variety
One of the most trusted and renowned restaurants in the city, Mahesh Lunch Home, completes the Holy Trinity of the Trishna-Mahesh-Gajalee ‘Hall of Fame.’ It offers seafood delicacies that are second to none. The restaurant, which has four branches in Fort, Andheri, Juhu, and Thane, uses traditional ingredients and thus maintains the authenticity of food.
One can happily enjoy the crabs in butter-pepper- garlic, clams sukka, squid koliwada, dakshin fried crab, tandoori pomfret, fish balti and more. What’s more, they regularly have several seafood festivals, serving delicacies from a variety of coastal regions!
Homegrown’s pick: Rawas Tikka
Meal for 2: Decently priced at Rs. 1200
Where: Kings Apartment, Next To JW Marriot Hotel, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai; 022 66955554, 022 66955559
Timings: 12:30 PM to 3 PM, 7 PM to 12:30 AM
VII. Highway Gomantak
Go here for: True fulfilment
In a time where most restaurants have a shelf-life of not more than five years, Highway Gomantak has managed to hold its own for over 20. Food is what it’s about at this place, and while the cooking may be simple, it’s exactly this you’ll crave when all else fails.
The Pomfret Fry is extraordinarily good, but as is the pomfret green masala, kolambi curry, bombil fry and mori (shark) masala. Highway Gomantak also has a range of thalis, from kolambi suke thali to pomfret curry thali, tisrya masala thali, kurlya (crab) masala thali and so on.
Homegrown’s Pick: Pomfret curry thali
Meal for 2: If you won’t spend on this @ Rs. 500 then stop reading
Where: 44/2179, Gandhi Nagar, Service Road, Bandra East, Mumbai; 022 26409692, 022 26453120
Timings: 11 AM to 3:15 PM, 7 PM to 10 PM
VIII. Konkan Café
Go here for: South Indian, fine-dining perfection
A replica of a seaside bungalow on the Malabar coast, the warm Konkan Cafe is a fine-dining seafood restaurant at the Vivanta by Taj hotel. Chef Ananda Solomon spent several months down south, devouring meals in people’s homes and persuading them to share their secret recipes so you can imagine just how special this place is.
The food itself is cooked in earthenware, and thus we pick the Meen Polichattu, which is as traditional a dish as you could hope to find. In addition to that, you could also order the Curdee mango, Mangalorean fish curry, pomfret recheado, and the seafood thali.
Homegrown picks: Meen polichattu (fish in banana leaves)
Meal for 2: You’ll die poor but happy @ Rs. 3000
Where: Vivanta by Taj President, 90, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai; 022 66650976
Timings: 12:30 PM to 2:45 PM, 7 PM to 11:45 PM
IX. Jai Hind
Go here for: The. Best. Takeaway.
While it might be environed by restaurants like 5 spice and Pali Village Cafe, Jai Hind, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, shadows them all. Gaining a reputation of being the best seafood restaurant in Bandra is no easy task, and one trip there will tell you why.
We recommend the Fish Tikka, which gives the best Chicken Tikka you’ve eaten a run for its money. Apart from that, one can also order the neer dosa, prawns puli munchi, and Sol kadhi. While the food might be excellent, the place is rather small, so expect to wait for a while or if you’re impatient, get some takeaway!
Homegrown Picks: Fish Tikka
Meal for 2: You’ll be laughing your way to the bank @ Rs. 600
Where: Dr Ambedkar Road, Pali Naka, Pali Hill, Bandra West, Mumbai; 022 26483381, 022 32951482
Timings: 11:30 AM to 3 PM, 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM (Mon, Wed-Sun), Tuesday Closed
X. The Excellensea
Go here for: Fresh sea food
If superb quality seafood made from the freshest of fish meat is what you seek, a trip to Excellensea wouldn’t exactly be a bad idea. The ambience, for starters, is brilliant – but it’s the food we’re concerned with, and it does not disappoint.
A restaurant with two levels, the oenophiles can find a bar on the lower levels to wash their meat down, while the others can head to the upper levels and order some of their tastiest dishes, which include the prawns koliwada, squid fry and butter garlic crab. The pullimunchi, however, is unrivalled.
Homegrown’s Pick: Pulimunchi
Meal for 2: Totally worth it at Rs. 700
Where: 317, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Between RBI & GPO, Fort Market, Fort, Mumbai; 022 22618991, 022 66359945
Timings: 11:30 AM to 4 PM, 6:30 PM to 12 Midnight
[Image courtesy - http://thecurlyhairedcook.com/]
XI. Jai Jawan
Go here for: Seafood – Punjabi style
The thing about Jai Jawan is that you can smell it from a distance – and it’s the aroma of that seafood that’ll keep you there too. A tiny eatery on Linking road, seldom is it not crowded; thronged by boisterous college kids during the day and the many shoppers by evening.
A takeaway is recommended here, as seating arrangements are non-existent. Despite its miniscule size, the restaurant is famous for various seafood dishes, many of which include the Punjabi Prawns masala, Punjabi Prawns Fry and Punjabi Fish fry.
Homegrown’s Pick: Punjabi Prawns Fry
Meal for 2: College prices @ Rs. 600
Where: Opposite National College, Next to Chappal Market, Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai; 022 65592112, 022 26008315
Timings: 6:30 PM to 12 Midnight
XII. Pal’s Fish
Go here for: A snack or a meal – they offer both!
From the outside, it might seem like a shady, dingy restaurant, but Pal’s, situated in a tiny lane in Bandra behind the famous Mini Punjab, has a reputation of its own. The locals swear by it – and one trip to the restaurant will show you why.
Although the place lacks a more than decent seating area, the food makes up for it. The Tandoori Pomfret there is renowned, but various other dishes like rawas fry and tandoori prawns are highly recommended too. And oh, if you’re looking for a quick snack, they have a delicious prawn roll too!
Our pick: Tandoori Pomfret OR The Prawn Roll
Cost of meal for 2: Almost college prices @ Rs. 850.
Where: 16th Road, Off Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai; 022 26002995, 022 26004318
Timings: 12 Noon to 3 PM, 7 PM to 01:30 AM
Go here for: Authentic Konkani cuisine
If there ever was a restaurant to ever fall in the “hidden gems” category, this would be it. Not as renowned as a Mahesh Lunch Home or a Jai Jawan, Sadiccha offers seafood cooked in the Konkani style, and becomes an instant favourite thanks to its remarkably delicious taste. The options are aplenty: right from Tisriya Sukha, to Prawns sukke, to Surmai Masala and even Baby Sharks. However, if you’re one with an appetite, they also serve the best seafood thalis, which are just as delicious!
Our pick: Tisriya Sukha, Tisriya Sukha, Tisriya Sukha. (It tastes so nice, we said it thrice)
Meal for 2: Almost ridiculous @ Rs. 500
Where: Opposite MIG Cricket Club, Gandhi Nagar, BKC, Bandra East, Mumbai; 022 26510175, 022 26419932
Timings: 9 AM to 10 PM
[Image courtesy - http://thecurlyhairedcook.com/]
Go Here For: Authentic Malvani Cuisine
Chaitanya’s not one for those who can’t handle spice. A tiny 10-seater tucked away in a tiny Shivaji park gulli, it’s the pure labour and love of a Maharashtrian housewife, Surekha Walke. As you can imagine, this is home-style dining at its finest and Surekha’s not catering to anyone’s tastes but hers and her family’s so expect hearty, coconut-y flavours and plenty of garam masala spices.
The menu’s filled with fiery offers right from thick pomfret curries to and mori (shark) masalas to the less familiar options like Bangda and crab lollipops.
Our Pick: Bangda (mackerel) OR Crab Lollipop
Meal For 2: Not even worth considering @ Rs. 400
Where: Shop No. 4, Shivaji Park House, L J Road, Shivaji Park; +91 (0)22 2437 2242, +91 96199 09014
Timings: Lunch: 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m., dinner: 7 p.m.–11 p.m., Thursday closed.
[Missed out on one of your favourites? Don't hold out on us, drop us a line in the comment section! And if you liked this post, don't miss our pick of 'Bombay's Best Burgers For Every Budget']