Restaurants & Bars

Coconut Grove in Bangalore; Great Mussels (long-ish)

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Restaurants & Bars

Coconut Grove in Bangalore; Great Mussels (long-ish)

Westy | May 13, 2005 01:10 PM

I decided today to break away from my usual place for lunch (Nagarjuna Savoy - a really, really great Indian bistro). One of my colleagues formerly worked in the hotel business and knows every restaurant in the city. For seafood, he recommended "Coconut Grove."

It is (I think) Kerala-style food. I say this based more on the waiter's uniforms (long white dhoti's) and the fact that the curry taste similar to a Keralian restaurant I tried a few weeks back.
The restaurant itself is a little scruffy - a bamboo screen shields the restuarant from a busy street and sidewalk. You can sit int he (bamboo) chairs at a table outside or, you can go inside. The inside looked a little dark and not very cheery. I picked an outside table so i could watch the cows across the street. A waiter appeared and offered a menu. I got a "salty lime soda." As advertised, it is fizzy, has fresh lime juice, and is very salty. It was very nice - bettert han most versions I have had. I ordered the curried mussels and some round bread (huis suggesteion). My mussels popped out a few minutes later. Not what I was expecting. I am used to thinner curry for mussels. This stuff was thick and dark green. I could defintiely taste some tomato, cocout, and mildly hot curry powder. overall - very chunky and tasty. They are, by the way, served sans shell. There were about 12 in the bowl.
He also brought out a small round tray with a banana leaf on it. I looked around - oh right - the other diners were all eating with their fingers - the put rice on the banana leaf, add their veg or meat/fish and scoop it up with their fingers. You use the banana leaf as a tray. I once made the mistake of thinking it wasa sided sh. Story my indian colleagues never tire of telling. It would be like someone eating a paper plate int he US. I have never had any success in eating this way. I asked for (and got) a spoon and fork. The mussels were great - I had not very high hopes (Bangalore is inland and warm,and I was a little nervous re: the refrigeration in a small 10 seat restaurant. They were also really big - about twice teh size of mussels I am used to from PEI. The flavor was amazing. You first got a taste of sweet mussels, followed by heat of the curry, then it mellowed witht eh cocunut-based gravy. not heavy, but defintiely satisfying.I dipped the bread in the sauce. The bread,a s stated, was round and sooft. Great for tearing and dipping. Total cost RS$150 (about 4USD).
Matt

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