In all our travels to Kerala, people of the state have always opened their hearts to us and I’m a sucker for warmth and hospitality. Keralites passionately celebrate their festivals, culture, music, art and heritage. But, their cuisine and food is their most prized possession! So when Malabar Bay opened it’s doors in Bangalore, we couldn’t resist the temptation to try the goodness of all things spicy and coconuty 🙂
Geography & history lesson
Let’s make this clear and easy for you. Malabar is a region in the south-western coastline of India lying between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. As per historical texts the coast runs from the south of Goa to Kanyakumari (southernmost tip of India). But today the Malabar region is distinctively made up of 6 districts – Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Wayanad. So why do most people refer to Kerala as the Malabar region?
Here’s why – With India’s independence, Kasaragod and other districts of the Malabar region immediately joined the state of Travancore-Cochin in the south to form the state of Kerala. As a result came the lingering attachment and association. However, we believe the best part of this event was the way it influenced the food in this region. It brought together several districts, each renowned for it’s own local and tribal cuisines, that lead to Kerala’s cuisine boasting with over fifty kinds of meen (fish) curries!
About Malabar Bay
A fairly large establishment with a lovely vibe, Malabar Bay is the brainchild of Mr. Sarang Naroth who is a passionate food enthusiast. Hailing from Kannur, he noticed the shortfall of authentic Kerala restaurants in Bangalore and decided to take the plunge. Furthermore, it’s very evident from the menu that he knows his state’s cuisine like the back of his hand. Just a heads up – even though Zomato suggests it’s in BTM, it’s actually located very close to Christ College and Forum Mall. The perfect spot for all the folks from Kerala who need their home food fix. The best part – it’s easy on the pocket too!
What’s the ambiance like?
On entering, you’ll notice the wooden pillars and rustic patio that opens into the ground floor of the restaurant that caters mainly to college kids, passer-by’s and the working crowd. Much like Kerala’s traditional homes, the stairs and wooden carved ceilings transport you back to the bygone days. While there is a clear appearance of Malabar artwork on their walls, the restaurant’s first floor maintains a modern dining set up that’s ideal for corporate, social and family gatherings.
Go full Malyali
We popped in during lunch time and it was fairly crowded. Post a quick scan of the extensive menu, we first ordered a medley of mocktails – Samba Lime (salt rimmed orange and basil mocktail), Bay of Malabar (chilli and spice seasoned orange mocktail), Heavenly Cooler (watermelon & strawberries mocktail) and Green Mango Cooler (raw mango blend mocktail), Kerala style rasam. The after taste of the Samba Lime & Bay of Malabar was what we liked the most, making it the ideal thirst quenchers.
What followed next were some deadly and highly recommended appetizers like – Mutton Varathiyath (mutton roast), Avoli Pollichathu (pomfret fish fry in banana leaf), Prawn Ulartiyathu (prawn coconut roast) and Kozhi Thullichathu (chicken masala fry). Overwhelmed by the names, the waiters did a fine job of explaining the distinctive difference between each dish. Most noteworthy were the Mutton Varathiyath and Kozhi Thullichathu. While the sliced coconut pieces interestingly elevated the taste of Mutton Varathiyath; the Kozhi Thullichathu (mildly spiced and flavoured) was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
After what seemed like a feast in it’s own right, how could one possibly have space for mains? Well, when you say the two magic words ‘appam’ and ‘curry’ we couldn’t resist but say yes! And thanks to Mr. Sarang’s generosity we not only tried their Appam (fermented rice and coconut milk pancake) with Malappuram Chicken Curry (Malabar style chicken curry), but also got our hands on his Mother’s quintessential Ney Pathal (rice bread) and Koothal Manga Curry (squid mango curry). The rice bread just cut through the sharpness and tanginess of the curry, which made it beyond finger licking good.
Desserts and digestives
I for one never leave a restaurant until I try their desserts, even if I’m satisfied and fed to the brim. So without wasting time we ordered our desserts – Biscuit Pudding and Banana Toffee Ice Cream. The later was just ok, but the good old fashioned biscuit soaked in coffee and served with a layer of coconut souffle and chocolate syrup was simply divine. Again another treasured recipe from the Naroth family. And finally to put an end to our heavy eating spree we ordered a quick remedy by the name Chukku Kapi (dry ginger coffee) that cured all our digestion worries. The sweetness of jaggery mixed with pepper, ginger and coffee culminated the perfect ending to a wholesome meal. Needless to say, we are surely coming back for seconds!
And if that wasn’t enough to tantalize you, Malabar Bay is serving up an elaborate and authentic Onam Sadhya today and tomorrow (3rd & 4th September 2017) just at Rs. 475 per head. It’s going to be a feast for the Gods! Don’t forget to book your slot as they have only limited seats left! You can thank us later 🙂
- Most of the dishes we tried were non-vegetarian, but there are plenty of vegetarian options too.
- Select the A/C dining area on the first floor if you are looking to dine leisurely.
- The dishes we tried were highly recommended by Mr. Sarang himself, so if you are new to Kerala cuisine we recommend you opt for the same if not similar dishes.
43, Krishna Nagar, SG Pallya Road, Near Christ College,
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560029
For Reservations call 080 33037820
Rs. 1,000 for 2 people (approx.) excluding VAT & service charge
Value for money: 4/5