Alwin’s Restaurant: A taste of home
India is a large country! And with it every region, state, community has its own cuisine/ food specialty. More of ten than not when people think of Indian food its always the North Indian cuisine Biryani (Hyderabad is also known for this), chicken tikka, naan etc…
But Indian cuisine has a lot more to offer and I think it is time we took a different taste route to explore Indian cuisine. So how about Mangalorean/Goan cuisine which is largely influenced by South Indian cuisine which has a distinct Portuguese influence. This cuisine is partial to fresh coconut and curry leaves and rice is an integral part of every meal in whichever form you decide to indulge in.
What brings Mangaloreans and Goans together is the love of food, food that reminds them of home. They are an unforgiving people if restaurants claim to serve Mangalorean/Goan food don’t get it right.
Alwin’s Restaurant in Karama came recommended by a fellow foodie who happens to be a hard core Mangalorean. How could I not investigate this gem of a place. So accompanied by two fellow diners (both Magaloreans) we landed up at this small bricked walled unassuming eatery for lunch.
It is a small place with white lace curtains adorning the windows and the ambiance is cafeteria like. The menu is varied with options of Chinese, North Indian and then towards the end of the menu they have Mangalorean/Goan specials.
When visiting a Magalorean/Goan restaurant that is the cuisine you try – as they say ‘When in France …’. So I did the wisest thing – I left the ordering to the experts – I left it to my companions to choose. And right at the offset I must say they chose wisely.
We ordered chicken ‘ros’ curry (AED 16) – a spicy coconut chicken curry which you can temper down to suit your taste buds. I ordered Sanna (AED 1.50 each) – soft and fluffy rice cakes which I knew would soak up the curry beautifully. One of my companions wanted to have the curry with Panpole or Neer Dosa (AED 1 each) – paper thin soft rice pancake. Like I said before rice is a staple in this cusine and it has many different variations on offer. One of my companions wanted to have the traditional Kori Roti (AED 20) – Kori means ‘Chicken’ and in this case it’s the same Chicken ‘ros’ curry accompanied with roti, in this case ‘roti’ is crispy paper thin or crispy rice flakes.
To add to the mix we ordered Squid Chilly (AED 20) which was delightfully tasteful and a King Fish Tava Fry (AED 20).
I also ordered a chilled Thumbs Up – the Indian cola.
The food was delicious and all three of us were oohing and ahhing after every bite. But the biggest Ahhh came when the bill was presented. For a total of AED 95, three of us had eaten a hearty meal which was as close to home food as my companions could expect.
It was time to go home for a nice long siesta – the way the Mangloreans would do after a hearty meal with the family back in Mangalore.
Location: Near Al Madeena Supermarket, Block B3, Street 10B, Sheikh Hamdan Colony, Al Karama (to make it easier to find, I have put a location map below). Open from 11am – 3pm and 6pm – 12 midnight (Saturday – Thursday) and from 1.30pm – 3pm and 6.30 pm – 12.30 am (Fridays) Tel: +971 4 396 0674/ 396 0736.