Gomantak Boarding House
Food: Good
Service: Quick
Ambiance: Warm

On a hot, sunny afternoon, our quest for fresh, regional seafood took us to its hub, Dadar. Among many popular Malwani and Gomantak restaurants in the area, it’s difficult to miss Gomantak Boarding House. Located on the buzzing NC Kelkar Road, queues outside this culinary hotspot are almost always mistaken to belong to the BEST bus stand outside the entrance of the eatery.

The Pomfret Thali
The Pomfret Thali

Facing an unusual headache, as its loyalists increased beyond their control, its owners decided to open a smaller, air-conditioned outlet a few blocks away, on JK Sawant Marg. No surprise however, when we spotted a queue here too. The owner told us that they are full, and might involve a waiting time of 40 minutes to an hour. None of our fellow queue mates were dissuaded by this warning. As we peeped into the restaurant, we overheard the owner speak to someone at the older restaurant, as they tried to coordinate seating arrangements, since both spaces were full to capacity.

A Maharashtrian family waits in queue outside Gomantak Boarding House
A Maharashtrian family waits in queue outside Gomantak Boarding House

One of the tricks that we have learnt when we travel is that a place where locals eat at is bound to be a good bet for authentic food. During our long wait outside Gomantak Boarding House, we noticed many Maharashtrian families either relishing the food inside or as a part of the queue. We also learnt that it does not have lodging and boarding facilities as the name suggests. The owner, who was amused with our query, mentioned that it was an old name that stuck on.

A chutney made of small, dried fish
A chutney made of small, dried fish

When we got our table, finally, we were starving and ordered the quickest thing on the menu. The Fried Prawns (Rs 155) were hot, crunchy and made all our complaints about the long wait disappear instantly. We couldn’t resist the tempting Bombil Fry (Rs 120) served to the next table, so we ordered those too. Highly recommended. We ordered the Fish Thali (Rs 290), which comprised of rice, fried pomfret, a coconut gravy, chapati and the star of the meal — a chutney made from small, dried fish (Jawla).

Don’t miss this tiny treat. The fish was fresh, and marinated with Malwani-styled masala. We devoured it in no time. We also tried the Surmai Masala (Rs 155) with Rice Bhakris (Rs 17). One of the main reasons that we recommend this eatery is because its flavours stayed with us until well after we left. Before the rain gods descend in all its fury and the fishermen rest their boats, we suggest you head here.