Drawing architectural inspiration from the once popular Nalukattu homes (pillars and all) of Kerala and balancing it with contemporary vibes, the first thing that draws your attention is the feeling of spaciousness as you enter Konkan Café. Tucked inside President, Mumbai - IHCL SeleQtions, it is the place to go to if you want to sample the diverse Konkani cuisine under one roof. Sandwiched between the long Arabian Sea coast and the Western Ghat hills, Konkan - stretching across Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala - is known for its natural beauty and cuisine among other things.
The Konkan Cafe focuses on the region’s legacy cuisine, culture, art and architecture in its new avatar. The restaurant reopened its doors recently after a complete makeover. “Conceptualized by Harsha Shaparia, Team Moirai, the refreshed iconic restaurant embeds art and craft native to the Konkan belt into each and every detail – from wall frames and lighting to upholstery design and tableware,” said Melvyn Saldanha, General Manager, President, Mumbai – IHCL SeleQtions.
Under Uddipan Chakravarthy Director of Culinary Operations, the Konkan Café offers a mélange of modern and authentic Konkani cuisine. However, the restaurant has retained some of its old favourites, such as sol kadi, fried crisps, thalis and Malabari stew, to name a few. The new restaurant now houses the Konkan Cafe Bar, where patrons can enjoy everything from beers to wine-by-the-glass, and an extensive range of collection of spirited Konkani cocktails.
According to Saldanha, in the digital age, where real connection has become difficult, people definitely look to restaurants as a place to connect with friends and family. “Millennials especially are spending time and effort on experimenting various cuisines and experiences,” he said. Keeping this trend in mind, the restaurant banks on merging the classic with the contemporary for ambience while offering authentic dishes culled from the depths of the Konkan coast.
Timing and price: Konkan Café is open for lunch from 12.30pm to 2.45pm and for dinner from 7pm to 11.45pm. A meal for two costs around Rs 4000 without tax.
For reservation, call: 022 6665 0808.
Konkani Café shared the recipe of a popular dish with Outlook readers.
750 gm mutton (lamb leg preferably)
2 large onions
1 inch ginger
8–10 cloves of garlic
4 green chilies
6–7 tablespoon (tbsp) of dried, grated and roasted coconut
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seed
1 and ½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp oil
1. To make it home style, wash the mutton pieces properly. In a cooker, add 1 tbsp ghee. Add the mutton pieces and sauté for 2 minutes. Add about 1 and a ½ glass of water. Add some salt and shut the lid. After two whistles, switch it off.
Or one can bhunao (stir-fry) the mutton for 45 minutes in slow fire, if you do not prefer to cook in a pressure cooker.
2. For the base of the gravy, add oil in a pan and sauté onions till translucent. Once the onions are cool, make a fine paste. In another mixer jar, add the chilli, garlic and ginger. Grind it to a paste.
3. In the same pan, add oil. Once heated, add peppercorns, cloves, cumin and bayleaves. Add turmeric. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli paste. Sauté well. Add the onion paste and sauté well.
4. Once the onions are cooked well, add red chili powder and meat masala. Sauté well.
5. Add the grated coconut and sauté. Add the mutton pieces.
6. Add a bit of the mutton stock and cook it well. Since the mutton is already partially cooked, it would take about 15–17 minutes approximately. Since this is a dry mutton recipe, there should be no residual water.
7. Garnish with coriander and serve.