Amrut, Main Road, Karwar
Ph: (08382) 226609
Meal for two : Rs 600
As our convoy of cars hurtles down the sun-baked roads of Karwar, a hop, skip and jump away from Goa’s southern-most tip, there’s lunch—and only lunch—on the mind of 11 ravenous people. Luckily, a friend has this famous 31-year-old restaurant on speed-dial, and soon enough, our Konkani food fest begins. We eat in complete silence, children included—which, as my mother puts it, is the surest sign of a good repast.
We start with Amrut’s famous Crab Masala, which incidentally wins the postprandial poll for the most distinctive flavour (cured mango peels is one reason, we are told). The traditional “Kane”, Ladyfish Masala Fry, is incredibly tasty, fresh from the nearby river Kali. But my vote for the most sublime dish goes to Kalva Sukka, little dried globules of masala oysters that melt in the mouth. Wisely, we nibble at the rice, and focus on the rava-fried prawns, mackerel and prawn curry that follow. Like in Goa, coconut paste is a constant—but this fare is less sweet (and, dare I say it, tastier) thanks to the absence of vinegar. Many say Amrut has gone commercial. We only had one grouse: no dessert!