CT Point Konkan Cafe – Homestyle Seafood Magic
CT Point Konkan Cafe is a small seafood restaurant in Pimple Nilakh, Vishal Nagar. Unassuming from the outside but so beautifully appointed and really welcoming on the inside. This is no surprise given the wonderful owners, Pallavi and Atul Sonawane, are graphic and interior designers by profession, respectively. This little cafe serving delicious seafood is their labour of love, born through tremendous affection for Konkan and it’s magical food and tremendous passion for cooking and entrepreneurship. Best part is, both of them aren’t Konkani, but they have developed their recipes from their multiple visits (in a year) to Konkan over the last many years and fastidious research and trials. Very successfully, I might add.
They opened just 2 months ago in November and already have a bit of a following for their food. I was invited for a food tasting by Mrs Pallavi in November but I just couldn’t make it. I finally managed last week and I’m so happy I did! All the food is cooked by super chef, Pallavi and both her as well as Atul are always present at the restaurant to host, give suggestions and chat with you about the restaurant and it’s inception. This gives it a very homely and cozy feel, like you’re having food at their home, whilst keeping the quality, ambience as well as taste of the food top notch!
Solkadhi – I was welcomed with their special solkadhi. Always my favourite thirst quencher, their version was super creamy, mild and low in sweetness while being full of flavour and refreshing. It was quite different to many of the solkadhis I have had, but is a perfect accompaniment to the spicy and flavour laden seafood!
Bangda Tawa Fry – This was just a masterpeice. Super juicy and fresh bangda (mackarel) perfectly stuffed and marinated with a spicy and flavourful masala (freshly ground homemade) and cooked on a tawa to perfection. Slightly crisp skin and soft flesh. All topped with a tadka of garlic, whole green chillies and coriander. This is one of the most tasty tawa fry bangda I’ve ever had. Can be slightly spicy for some, but you can tell them to reduce the spice or even turn it up to 11! But trust me, you want this spicy version, especially with a squeeze of lime. As the masala is fresh and very well made, the spiciness causes no acidity or burning.
Prawns Tawa Fry – Heavenly! Similar masala and tadka as above with simply plump and juicy flavourful prawns. Just incomparable to any place. I could have multiple plates of this!
Mandeli Fry – Wow! Crisp and juicy little whole rawa fried fish. Perfect replacement for papad, if you ask me! A squeeze of lime and you can munch on these all day. Or even at night as chakna!
Surmai Thali – The classic delicious Surmai Rawa Fry. Much milder than the tawa fry and crispier. Very fresh fish and a pleasure to have. Bright red bangda curry was surprisingly subtle and delicious. Very flavourful from whole spices and coconut, without any excess spiciness. Accompanied with very flavourful sukat (dried prawn chutney). I scooped up the curry with lovely tandalachi (rice) bhakri and unpolished ghee laden Indrayani rice! So good! But the crescendo was the ukadiche modak!
Ukadiche Modak – My God, I was floored! Delicate and absolutely smashing, loads of coconut, jaggery and swimming in pure ghee! Flavour was incomparable, though slightly sweet for me, but I have no problem with that. They offered me more and even though I knew I had no space left in the tummy, I had 2 more. Hot, delicious with hot melting ghee! Who can resist!
Frankly, I’m just in love with this place. The food at CT Point Konkan Cafe is super delicious, the owners are super friendly and welcoming, and the place is small, homely but beautiful, hygienic and comforting. There is nothing negative I can say. The amount of hard work and dedication can be seen from both the cooking and management side. Most importantly, there is absolutely no fishy smell in the restaurant, even though you sit right next to the kitchen, which is testament to the freshness of fish, hygiene and quality. 11/10 place!