Aromas of fried fish and coconut curry wafted out and welcomed me at Ankur a coastal eatery located in one of the Fort by lanes. Started in 1941 this has been the underdog in popularity whilst enjoying loyal patronage. As a vegetarian it was a tough choice to pick this place for lunch, however the Tamarind Martini created by Gaurish Rangnekar a good friend of mine and also a partner at the eatery did me in. For the Gowd Saraswat Brahmin community that I come from, you surely would find the fishy salinity in our blood but for mine the vegetarian outlier.
I started with a Kokum Margarita, shaken with strong ingredients; the fruit, tequila and black salt, it certainly packed a punch. For starters I chose the Kerala Paneer , chunks of paneer tossed in curry leaves and cracked pepper, glad the Margarita came in handy to douse the heat. The other starter options included some standard Punjabi and chindian fare, I chose to ignore. The Tamarind martini that came in next was sublime and very delicate with citrus overtones finishing with memories of sweet tamarind. They would be happy to spike it with some chilli if you wish so. Mangalore veg with neer dosa and Vegetable Karavali with steamed rice followed for the mains. The Mangalore veg a dry preparation with cumin, chilli and coconut masala and the Karavali in a tomato based gravy with Southern elements were made well. As a vegetarian I loved the dishes I ate but I feel there is tremendous justice that they could do to coastal vegetarian food by including specialties just like they have for fish and meat, than including commonplace so-called Punjabi fare, they have plenty of those on the list. Similar for the dessert, at least one coastal option would be good.
Last thoughts, few coastal but worthy options. A go to for satisfying your coconut curry cravings if you are in the vicinity!