Anchor here for delectable seafood

Catch of the day Relish fresh seafood and enjoy a magnificent sea view

Catch of the day Relish fresh seafood and enjoy a magnificent sea view  

Anchor House, a waterfront restaurant in Fort Kochi, gets a thumbs up for great seafood

Visualise this. You want to head to Fort Kochi for an evening out. Away from the maddening crowd, a beautiful view of the backwaters, good (read fresh) seafood and the best part of it all is that you don’t even have to drive. All this just a boat ride away and at no extra cost (yes! call and a boat will pick you up).

Anchor House on Bazaar Street in Fort Kochi promised this…tall claims, we thought, and headed to check the claim. So we are off to Anchor House. Beating peak traffic, frazzled nerves et al we get to the jetty opposite Fine Arts Hall. The boat was awaiting us, and off we were in a boat on the backwaters. Lake Placid…a few seconds later, the calm just takes over. The 20 minutes (almost) just fly by, and we are there. Anchor House used to be a godown and before that a captain’s bungalow. A bamboo picket fence welcomes us. Tables are set out on the platform, perfect for days when the sun is gentler or for a sit out breakfast savouring the sunrise…that is where the restaurant opens for dinner, of course there is always the option of sitting inside on the first floor.

Since it is lunch time we head for the first floor, where the restaurant, partially open on the sides, looks over the backwaters. It is suffused with light and then there is the gentle wind. The view is soothing, and live, of the fishermen, in catamarans and boats, heading out into the waters for the precious catch. .

Anchor House specialises in seafood. There is no menu card, only a menu cart…full of fish. Fish, shellfish, crab, prawns…it is an extension of that Fort Kochi concept… “you buy we fry”.

Curry or fry

“The catch is fresh. No frozen fish or carry forward from the day before,” says Sharon Gafoor, GM. There are several kinds of fish such as Halibut, Indian salmon, Pearlspot, Silver pomfret, Black pomfret, Sea bass, prawns, shrimp, squid, crab…the list goes on. The fish will be done the way you want – grilled with or sans masala, tempura style, spicy or non-spicy, as curry or as fry or both or all the three…depending on the quantity of fish that you have selected. The live counter (on the ground floor) is where the cooking is done.

Now coming to the food, yum! The seafood we had on the chef’s recommendation was tiger prawns (grilled) and halibut (spicy-grilled) and as ‘naadan’ curry, mappas or moily. It took some time coming (but then it had to be cleaned and cooked) but when it came it was well worth the wait . Done nicely sans the fishy smell, which is a big plus, done very nicely – juicy and succulent. Served with boiled vegetables, the straightforward presentation combined to provide a filling platter. The prawns too were done nicely.

‘Desi’ touch

The grilled fish was a happy marriage of tangy lime and fiery masala – just the way we ‘desis’ would love it. The veggies nicely complemented the fish. For those who like their fish done the continental way there is that option too. Then came the fish curry and rice. Fancy is easy, cooking nadan is no mean task and that too Chef Justin accomplishes. That fish curry…good, highly recommended. The view and the ambience… too recommended. Those who are not into seafood, there are other options as well; same goes for the vegetarians. The quantity of fish and therefore the price of the fish (it isn’t the market price, mind you!) will decide how much your dinner will cost.

The boat ride to Anchor House and back to the jetty is complementary, so is the dessert. If you are looking for a fancy kind of place, as in over-priced, paying for the overheads and the fancy signboards then this is not for you. This place is different; it is aspiring to be a heritage hotel. So there are the tiny bits of history in a nook here and a corner there. Contact:: 2223115, 2223116


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