July 7, 2008
The sun peeking out from the sky after an extended spell of cloudy days in Bangalore had us planning a leisurely lunch that brought in a whiff of the outdoors. We settled on lovely Sanadige, off gorgeous Crescent Road near the Race Course. Crescent Road consists of magnificient colonial villas and bungalows amid bougainvilleas and lush greenery; but there are also plenty of restaurants in the area, including the Malayalam actor Mohanlal’s Harbour Market. Sanadige is located in the Goldfinch Hotel and serves Konkan cuisine – marvellous food from Kerala, Mangalore, Maharashtra and Goa. Flower decorations in earthern pots, traditional brass lamps and Kathakali masks decorate the restaurant which has two seating areas – indoors and outdoors. I recommend that you sit in the outdoor area which really a covered patio fringed by a small garden. Natural light from the netted ceiling streams into the restaurant giving it a feeling of spaciousness and charm and, more importantly, sparrows twitter in the background and fly in and out of the garden – a rare sight in Bangalore these days. Tanks with live crabs, prawns and fish, menu cards in palm folders and waiters dressed in traditional caps made with betelnut leaves add to that coastal feeling.
When you are in the West Coast, act like, well, you belong! So we tried the Kokum Kadi, a pink concoction that contained the marvellous sourness of the kokum fruit that gives Konkan food its distinct flavour. The tamer cardamom-laced lemonade was good too – and so was the gentleman’s choice of whiskey on the rocks. Spiced sago chips/papads (sandige) are freebie starters that are offered in a basket. We ordered the succulent pomfret tawa fry (the fish was picked fresh from the tank) infused with ground Mangalorean spices and it was a huge hit –made just right, lightly pan-fried, not too soft or crisp and without excess oil. We also sampled some Maharashtrian favourites – corn pakoras and crispy kaju kothambir vada, both very tasty. Main course consisted of basale kadale kadi and chicken sanadige and soaked it up with pan pole, the neer dosas from Mangalore – lace thin rice dosas fried on one side as well as fluffy Kerala appams. The chicken sanadige was good – boneless chicken in a coconut, onion and mint gravy. The basale kadale kadi consisting of a spinach and black channa in a tomato based sauce, a favourite of one of my favourites, was normal. We rounded off the meal with superb desserts. The sweet lovers tried the kashi or pumkin halwa while the dairy kings and queens lapped up the ada pradhaman, kheer or payasam from God’s own country made with plenty of cashews and raisins, thickened milk and sweetened oh-just-right with jaggery.
Sanadige is an excellent choice if you are looking for good Konkan food – not hugely authentic, but good. Service is reasonable. The outdoor and leisurely flavour of the place is a huge plus – the no scrambling for tables and no hurrying over your meal reminds one of Bangalore two decades ago. Patrons are mostly families and older professionals. I recommend this place for a laidback lunch with family or friends. A meal for two will cost around Rs.1000 depending on the seafood you order. Valet parking is available.
Sanadige is located at The Goldfinch Hotel, 32/3, Crescent Road, High Grounds, Off Race Course Road, ph: +91 80 41291300.