Fans of seafood in and around Oshiwara, rejoice. Yari Road houses the famous Malwani Kalwan and Gajalee — crowd favourites for seafood fare. And now, Oshiwara sees its own little fishy establishment in Koli World, located right next to the very popular Sammy Sosa. As soon as you enter the place, the expected whiff of fish that greets one at most seafood restaurants, hits you, in a good way, of course. Patrons of Mahesh Lunch Home, Gajalee and Jai Jawan will tell you that it only whets the appetite further. Vegetarians, however, might want to stay away.
Koli World is a collaboration by the Mumbai-based fishermen community group, who after winning top praise at the Versova Fish Festival, have moved to the retail space. The problem with Koli World is that while the heart is in the right place, the structure and organisation skills required to run such a restaurant are missing. In today’s brick-and-mortar world, service and ambiance are as important as the cuisine in question.
We asked for the Prawns Dry Masala (`300) and specifically asked what the preparation would be. All the servers / waiters were clueless. Eventually, we asked if it would be batter fried and dry, and we were told it would be. It wasn’t. The Prawns Dry Masala were served in a semi-dry state covered in onion and hints of gravy. In its own right, the dish wasn’t bad — more gravy and less prawn, but it wasn’t what we ordered and that left a bitter taste. We were brought the actual Prawns Dry Masala when we complained that these were not the prawns we ordered. In their defense, that was the best dish on the menu and we were not charged for it.
The owner also profusely apologised. Next, the Rawas Curry (`350) arrived with Appam (`45). The appams were fresh and melt-in-the-mouth. This is actually a Konkan specialty, and is Goa’s signature dish. This is the Koli version and is appealing with its bright orange-red colour coming from the Kashmiri-type chilies used. We wish it was used a little more liberally. Judging by its texture, this one was fresh and well-marinated. Our big-ticket winner, this. If you are going in expecting a fine dining experience, stick to the Mahesh / Gajalee variety. If you can let go of the basic ambiance, with cut-outs of sea animals and tepid service, and know exactly what you want, Koli World will not disappoint.