Friday, March 2, 2012

FISH KOLIWADA - MOUTHWATERING MUMBAI MEMORIES

MOUTHWATERING MUMBAI MEMORIES
FISH KOLIWADA
By  
VIKRAM KARVE 

From my Foodie Archives
Mouthwatering Memories of a foodie adventure I enjoyed five years ago in Mumbai


You must have noticed a dish called “Fish Koliwada” or “Prawn Koliwada” on the menu cards of many restaurants.

Recipe books too feature “Koliwada” recipes, and I’ve observed a few eateries featuring “Koliwada” in their names.

But have you gone to the one and only Sion-Koliwada (in Mumbai) from which these yummy seafood delicacies derive their names and actually tasted the genuine Koliwada style cuisine over there?

You haven’t...?

Doesn’t matter.

Come with me on a Foodie Trail.

I’ll take you on a gastronomical trip to Sion Koliwada in Mumbai and, together, let us sample and relish the authentic Koliwada seafood delights on offer.
To get there, just drive straight down Shahid Bhagat Singh Road from the Museum. Drive past Horniman Circle, Town Hall, Reserve Bank, GPO, Yellow gate, Dockyard Road Reay Road, Sewree and Wadala railway stations on the Harbour Line Stations. The road will keep changing its name – D’Mello, Barrister Nath Pai, RA Kidwai, Char Rasta – and when it ends at Sion, turn right before the flyover, drive past Shanmukhananda Hall, and when you reach a T-junction, in front of you will see Hazara Restaurant – our destination.

Alternatively take the Harbour line train to GTB Nagar, ask around, walk through the hustle-bustle and cacophony, and then let your nose guide you to Koliwada and Hazara.


At the entrance to Hazara you will find heaps of marinated prawns and various types of fish of the season, like pomfret, rawas, surmai.

You can have your seafood deep-fried in the huge kadhai of boiling oil or have it roasted on the coal grill or tandoor. You may see a few pieces of marinated chicken, but ignore them; at Koliwada you’re going to focus on seafood!


Every good eatery has a signature dish (unless it’s one of those ubiquitous run-of-the-mill eateries proliferating all over the place which serve such uninspiring pedestrian fare that they are certainly not worth visiting).

You must “plan” your “eat” and know what to relish in a particular restaurant and then “eat” your “plan”.


It’s comical to see people eating “Chinese” at Irani, Indian Mughlai and pure vegetarian Gujju and Udipi Restaurants and vegetarian dishes at Baghdadi, Olympia and Bade Mian. 


I’ve almost split my sides seeing a guy trying to order a pizza at Mathura Dairy Farm when there are excellent pizzerias in the vicinity at Churchgate.


Whenever I go to a restaurant I make sure I eat the specialty cuisine of the place. If I don’t know, I look around to see what the regular patrons are savoring, and I ask someone knowledgeable, a connoisseur, or even a waiter!


The signature dish of Hazara is Prawns Koliwada. Legend has it that Prawns Koliwada was invented here. You order by weight, half a kilo for two is ample, and watch the prawns sizzle, crackle and dance in the hot oil. I love watching my food being made in front of me.


You go inside. You can either sit with the drinking types on the congested, crammed, smoky and noisy ground floor, but it’s best to sit comfortably in the “air conditioned” mezzanine floor where you can watch the goings on below while enjoying your food.

The lip-smacking prawns are crisp, crunchy, scrumptious and zesty – truly exquisite!

Once you have savored Prawn Koliwada at Hazara you'll appreciate the difference between authentic “Prawn Koliwada” and the stuff they serve you at various eateries.


Next, let’s have a roasted tandoori pomfret. It looks temptingly appetizing, and as expected, it’s excellent.


But the surprise piece de resistance is the succulent melt-in-the-mouth Rawas Koliwada. It tastes blissfully delicious. You close your eyes and let the generous piece of Rawas fish disintegrate, melt and dissolve on your tongue, and let yourself be transported to seventh heaven.


At Hazara, you eat only seafood – don’t make the mistake of ordering anything else unless you want to ruin your meal.

And don’t be tempted to order a “quarter” of booze or a beer, which you will find many others doing.

It would be sacrilege to dull your taste buds and “wash down” such magnificent ambrosial seafood delicacies, when you can mindfully savor each and every morsel.


Build up an appetite, and head for Hazara to enjoy exquisite incomparable authentic seafood, Koliwada style. I went there long back, more than five years ago, and I wonder if it is still the same. 


If you happen to be a Foodie in Mumbai, why don’t you try it out and tell us… Let us know how you enjoyed the eating experience and revive our mouth-watering memories…!


Happy Eating…!  

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@sify.com 


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