An `utsav' of coastal cuisine
THE SHETTY family, which started an Udupi restaurant in Mumbai, near Kismet Talkies, shifted base to Bangalore a few years ago to start a similar joint. Utsav is the family's second venture in the City, which also serves non-vegetarian food.
One has to walk up a flight of stairs to reach this 65-cover air-conditioned restaurant. A large mural on the wall, wrought iron furniture with plush upholstery, and palm fronds adorning the corners catches one's eye. One has to walk up another flight of stairs to reach its roof top area, which boasts of being the only pub in Koramangala.
Though Utsav's menu features the usual Mughlai and Chinese fare for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, its speciality is the Mangalorean cuisine. The menu also lists five popular delicacies from Mr. Shetty's hometown. Ishwar Nayak, the young cook from Mangalore, is quite an asset to the restaurant.
The vegetarian range in the Moghlai section is priced between Rs. 45 and Rs. 50, and includes malai kofta, dal makhni, paneer mushroom, and so on. The non-vegetarian section includes chicken/mutton fare, priced at Rs. 65. Here one can choose rogan josh, tikka, or do piazza, and for the Chinese food lovers, there are spring rolls, chicken chow chow, fish garlic, and ginger chicken (Rs. 65 to Rs. 70). It offers a good choice in breads, rice, and noodles, which rounds off the menu. But rumali roti is not served here and red rice, the usual on the Karnataka coast is also missing from the menu. Lunch thali is available and it is priced at Rs. 65.
You can start your meal with the cream of vegetable soup (Rs. 40) and opt for vegetable Manchurian for starters. The masala and the garnish used in the latter may be alien to Manchurian lovers in China. But, the Chinese menu is changed to suit the Bangalorean palate. The Mangalorean fish fry, made with anjal fish, is a must try.
Mr. Nayak explains that anjal is cleaned, dipped in salt water, and is smeared with a masala paste (made from ginger, garlic, chilli, tamrind, and turmeric). The fish is then sprinkled with chiroti rawa and fried crisp. This is served with a dash of lime, which is a real treat. The stuffed naan (Rs. 20) comes replete with goodies, has caraway seeds and goes well with fish. The cucumber raita (Rs. 25) can be ordered along with it to balance its dryness. For the vegetarians there is paneer mushroom in gravy (Rs. 55), a delight with plain rice (Rs. 20) or naan (Rs. 14). Coastal cooking can be fiery, and one can request the chef to go easy on the spices.
Utsav can be contacted on 5700224.
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