Following the success of its seafood court at Teynampet, the Fisheries Department plans to open a mobile seafood restaurant in the city by December. Prawn and fish biriyani, fish and prawn fry, fish cutlet, fish finger, chilli fish, fish curry and crab soup are some of the items that will be on offer at the mobile outlet.
The ‘restaurant' will visit Anna Nagar, Elliots Beach and Marina Beach where crowds gather. The vehicle will be procured for Rs. 20 lakh. The seafood court at Teynampet, near the office of the Directorate of Medical Services, garners sales worth nearly Rs. 6 lakh every month. It is open from 12.30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is patronized by many office-goers in the area. Trained chefs are employed at the food court run on self-serve mode.
The Department will also procure vehicles for nine mobile fish stalls. Each of these vehicles will cost Rs. 10 lakh. This is in an effort to increase fish sales through the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation, an official said. The mobile stalls will be sent to Velachery, Ashok Nagar, Anna Nagar and Kilpauk. “If there is more demand, the vehicles will tour the city often,” said a source.
The Department currently operates fresh fish stalls at Teynampet, Nandanam, Santhome, Anna Nagar, Besant Nagar and Avadi. Mobile stalls visit SAF Games Village and Chembakkam in East Tambaram on Wednesdays and Sundays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
On an average, 27 tonnes of fish are sold every month through these outlets. A total of 28 varieties including marine fish such as ‘Sankara', sardine, mackerel, crab, prawns, and fresh water fish like ‘Catla', ‘Rohu' and ‘Mrigal' are sold at these stalls. “Our scales are correct and the fish is freshly procured from fish landing centres. The annual sale is worth Rs. 7.52 crore,” an official said.
About 40 years ago, under an Indo-Norwegian project, 100 stalls were operated and around 150 tonnes sold on an average a year. But later, they were closed due to lack of patronage.