Saturday, May 05, 2012

Hotel Narayana

Narayana ‘Hotel’ is the one of the most famous old-time restaurants in Mangalore. This humble eatery stands tall and brave in the coastal city despite the invasion of fast food joints and multi start hotels. Located in the bustling Bunder area near the fishing dock, Narayana is famous for its seafood. If you are not from Mangalore, you might need to take a little help of the locals to get here.
As seen in the picture below, Narayana does not offer any plush interiors or an enticing ambience. Definitely a place if you want to feast on the freshest of fresh fish and not the place if you are on a date. The place looks more like a house converted into a hotel.
The no-frills Hotel Narayana
We make it a point to squeeze in sometime for a good meal at Narayana each time we are down in Mangalore. Finding a seat for yourself is always a challenge especially during the lunch hours. We prefer the seating on the mezzanine floor. Sharing a table with total strangers is the way to work around this place.
The place offers vegetarian and fish meals, the latter being most popular. The meal comes with rice, fish curry, a vegetable and pickle. But the steal is the platter of fish. The waiters bring along huge trays of fried fish and you can take your pick. From the bhuthai (sardine) and bangda (mackerel) to the Kane (lady fish) and Pomfret, Narayana offers some of the best choices of fresh fish. A visit here is a must to taste what fresh fish tastes like. Quite different from what we get to taste in our cities!
The popular fish meals
Fried fish
The fish is basically fried in a red chilli masala and extra masala is given on request for those who like their tongues on fire. It is a homecoming each time we eat the boiled rice, with the coconut based fish gravy and a slice of fried fish. Wash it down with a buttermilk or a soft drink and your meal is complete.
Adding to the local flavor is the crowd. Businessmen, working professional, masons, local traders, college students - all find their way to Narayana. Overall Narayana never fails to satisfy those looking for great seafood. The place might not score a ten on ten for hygiene but does not let you down either. Mangalore being hot most of the year, it is advisable to sit close to one of the large industrial fans.
Pay by : Cash only
Restroom: Have not tried
Average meal for two : Rs 200 depending on the size of fish.
Mel’s overall rating : 3.5 out of 5
Location: Reach the Taj Manjarun (now known as The Gateway) and ask for directions towards Bunder. The road is called Azizudin road, if you must know. Ph : 0824 2440891.