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Malvan's on the menu

In the melee of seafood restaurants that dot the city, Malvan Katta is a no-frills eatery whose authentic fare raises a toast to the flavours of this coastal region

Okay, so the rain gods have blinked, and the city is being taken to the cleaners, as we write this review. Before the wet spell forces Mumbai’s fishermen to keep their boats aside for the rest of the season, we suggest you do a quick stopover at Lower Parel’s newest eatery, Acharekar’s Malvan Katta. 

The Pomfret Fry Thali makes for the ideal working lunch
The Pomfret Fry Thali makes for the ideal working lunch

Corporate ploy
This haunt — at Lower Parel, is the second from the Acharekar family; their first space opened in Dadar a few years ago. It took a while for two seafood-loving, albeit impatient and hungry souls, to spot this tiny gem along a stretch that lines one end of Peninsula Corporate Park. A smart location; this, after we were able to spot its signboard that is sandwiched between shops and eateries.

Neeta Acharekar personally cooks the food at the Malvani Katta kitchen. Pics/ Shadab Khan
Neeta Acharekar personally cooks the food at the Malvani Katta kitchen. Pics/ Shadab Khan 

Food matters
The 10-seater was functional, so we hoped the food would do all the talking. Sun mica-topped tables, whirring fans and a clean, open kitchen completed the scan in one go. Famished by now, we got down to business, ordering a Pomfret Fry Thali (Rs 270), a Prawns Fry Thali (Rs 215) and Mutton Dry (Rs 180). Our thalis arrived in 10 minutes — piping hot, and with generous portions. We chose chapatti to compliment the fish thali while soft bhakri accompanied the companion’s prawn fare. The Sol Kadi added a zesty touch to proceedings.

We tucked into our thalis, and soon, joint favourites were decided. The fresher seafood of the two was the pomfret that oozed succulence, even as the exterior wasn’t over-fried (a sin committed by many eateries) to ensure the fish’s subtle flavours were intact. The curry served with both thalis was polished off in no time; we enquired if second helpings would be possible only to be politely refused by the lone attendant. Sigh.

The Mutton Dry dish was well-spiced and packed a mean punch
The Mutton Dry dish was well-spiced and packed a mean punch

Mutton musings
Despite the odd bump, the thalis had us sated. Well, almost. On cue, the Mutton Dry arrived as we tackled our final fling. Chunky pieces of mutton (cooked with bone) were laced in a mélange of spices with balanced tempering, a la Malvani style. Though titled as a dry preparation, the dish was served with a semi-thick gravy that we packed off with a bowl of steamed rice in record time. Be forewarned, the spicy burst of flavours in our mouth (and head!) made even our otherwise robust palate to seek solace in a fizzy drink. Later, we learnt from the owner Amit Acharekar that his mother, Neeta personally whips up every dish in the kitchen. Ma and Malvani — the combination seems to be working wonders for this tiny enterprise.

At Shop no 1, Koli Chawl, Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Lower Parel.
Call: 8422992021

Acharekar’s Malvan Katta didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.

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