Acharekar’s Malvan Katta Is Worth The Queues

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ACHAREKAR’S MALVAN KATTA IS WORTH THE QUEUES

Malvan Katta’s queues are testimony to the Dadar restaurant’s expertise with native seafood staples like the mandeli and Bombay Duck. But besides the delectable fried fish, there’s also wade, tisrya masala and a perfect sol kadi to set your tongue singing.

Acharekar’s Malvan Katta, Ground Floor, Janaki Nivas, DL Vaidya Path, Dadar (w), Mumbai 400 028. Phone: 022 2421 6923

READ MEHER MIRZA’S STORY

Acharekar’s Malvan Katta was not built for the crowds that besiege it on weekends, when a long, snaking line winds its way round the block, tummies are inevitably assailed by pangs of hunger, and tempers fly in consequence. And yet, it will be worth the wait. Let me explain why.

I could tell you about its rosy sol kadi, humming with the tang of kokum. Or I could tell you about the wade, fried to a formidable crunch. I could even tell you about the tisrya masala, sunk deep into their vivid, coconut-laced gravy.

But this story is really all about the fish. Specifically, fried fish. Specifically fish gilded with a crust of cornflake-crispness. Specifically, the bombil or Bombay duck, that has been dredged through a mountain of semolina and fried to a golden crackle that conceals a pliant, wobbly, belly within. The bombil comes in a thali, with a stack of chapatis and a ruddy-hued, assertively-spiced rasa to dip them into.

An honourable mention must be made of the mandeli fry, tiny fish fried until they reach the point of shattering crispness, meant to be eaten whole, brittle bones and all. It’s perfect drinking food, but alas Acharekar’s Malvan Kutta offers no inebriating accompaniments! The food is enough.
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