Guru Sawant’s Malvan Katta has become a legend in Pune. In spite of living so close, I had never visited there. That changed a few days ago and I got a taste of why this place has received all the praise it gets. First of all, it’s an extremely unassuming place, simple, hole in the wall types. But, as often is the case, the hearts of the owners and the taste, is much bigger. But unlike most small places, cleanliness and hygiene is not compromised. The kitchen is absolutely clean and the seating too is really good. The owner, Guru Sawant, is a gracious host and always there to suggest the freshest and best he has to offer.
But food is where they absolutely knock it out of the park. We started off with some Bombil fry and Prawns fry. All rawa fried, simple, but with an incredible taste. The traditional homemade masala is the source of all this magic and it’s incredibly flavourful. But what shines through even more, is the fresh beautiful seafood.
The Bombil was soft, juicy with the typical slight slimy texture. The Prawns were huge, plump and soft. I will say, hands down, one of the best prawns fry I’ve ever had.
We also had a Bangda fry (had to, it is my favourite fish!). It was, again, super fresh and juicy, slightly less masala than the others, but the flavour of the fish came through. The crispy skin is such a treat.
What astonishes you the most, is the damn size of the Surmai fry! Massive steak, the size of my bloated head. Soft and succulent flavourful meat on the inside with the crisp, beautifully spiced rawa crust. I loved it so much I got two pieces to go as well.
The Bangda Curry is just wonderful. Coconut based, medium spice, but the tanginess from the amsul and trifal, is what makes it. Just absolutely lip smacking, one of the most perfect curries, in my opinion. A heap of rice and this curry, I could have that everyday of my life. With the firm fleshy bangda, it was even better.
There was another small bowl of spicy curry, which was nice, had a great flavour of garam masala. We also ordered Prawn Masala on the side. It was a delicious spicy curry, quite heavy on garam masala. It was really good, but I prefer more of a milder curry with my prawns, so not my thing.
The Sol Kadhi is something else that is special. It is really mild, unlike many places that make it either too strong or too sweet. This was neither and thus was super refreshing after all the spice.
We paid about Rs. 750 each for the 3 of us (except for our individual parcel orders). The place is definitely quite reasonably priced, especially because of the sheer size and quality of the seafood you get. I’ve never seen Surmai, Prawns and Pomfrets this size being served anywhere else, especially at this price. Plus the delicious beautiful homemade masala and expert cooking, elevates this place to a different level. One of the few places that doesn’t just live upto the hype, but surpasses it.