The town of Manipal is dotted with tiny food-joints that offer an assortment of cuisines from all around the country. These places cater to the palates of thousands of students studying here, far away from home.
While it’s true that most of them are inclined towards the ever growing culture of fast food and swarm in significant numbers to places like KFC, McDonald’s and Dominos, there also exists a small population which craves for something that feels familiar to them. Something that’s true to their culture and their roots.
Catering to this particular set of people, an ex-Manipalite, Chef Sudhindra, under the guidance of the owner of the Hangyo chain of restaurants thought of bringing to Manipal, the delectable Thai, Chinese, Malaysian and Mangalorean cuisines.
This newly opened restaurant, Coast Asia promises to offer the indigenous recipes of Mangalore, which includes an extensive variety of seafood, that’s not easily found elsewhere in Manipal.
Located on the first floor of the recently built Manipal commercial complex, right above Radha medical stores, Coast Asia welcomes its customers with exceptional warmth the moment they step foot into the restaurant. A concept and ritual which initially originated in India but was somewhere lost in the vast ocean of fast food joints, Coast Asia attempts to revive the experience of serving food. Adorning a classic interior with warm colours, complemented by the hospitality of the serving staff, the tone for the gastronomical experience which awaits is set right.
The restaurant offers a variety of exotic delicacies. We have laid down a list of the very best ones for you:
The Anjal thava fish, marinated with lemon and native spices has a tangy taste to it and was my personal favourite (well, at least until the next dish was served). The juicy Crab green roast is an absolute must-have; it’s sweet and salty and just right. The famous Chicken ghee roast, a luscious delicacy cooked entirely with ghee, simply melts in your mouth. But of course, the plat du jour was a traditional coastal recipe of sardines called ‘Buthai Nippat’. As she watched us devouring the sardines, Chef Komal proudly claimed it to be her signature dish. Wait. Had I mentioned the crabs already? Oh, and all you veggies out there, don’t be disappointed – you have your moreish Magic mushrooms! Now there’s always room for dessert. But even more so when a bowl of milk-white, creamy Coconut pudding is placed in front of you. Are you suddenly hungry? Is your tummy making those feed-me-or-I-shall-embarrass-you-in-a-quiet-classroom noises? Well, go and order yourself a plate of each of these delicacies. And oh, you’re welcome.
We are planning on hosting a food festival every fifteen days or so. We are also experimenting with ‘fusion dishes’ that would integrate Thai and Mangalorean cuisine. We really want students to come and try out these exotic dishes. We want them to have a holistic ‘food’ experience, you know”, Chef Komal told MTTN.
Coast Asia will remind you of home – wherever home is. The fact that its menu has been curated patiently, and with great attention to detail, itself augments this feeling. With one of our very own WGSHA graduates at the helm of affairs in the kitchen, Coast Asia brings a fine dining experience to our college town. Inaugurated on Friday, the 9th of March this year, Coast Asia is now open and ready to please tastebuds all across Manipal.
Written and Reviewed by Gaurangi Gupta, Rashmitha, Abhishek Mishra and Natasha Kumar for MTTN.
Photographs by Jyotinder Singh.