Having a coast close to your residence city is an underrated advantage. What does it mean? Fresh Fish, Fresh fish & More Fresh fish! Having spent most of my childhood in Mumbai & those summer vacation trips to Konkan (coastal region of Maharashtra), catching fresh fish & then watching the entire process from scaling to marination to the frying was a joyful experience. From Sea to Table covered in 2 hours.
Dubai with its coastline & the vast abundance of marine seafood available in this region is a blessing which we rarely appreciate. We are appraised of it time to time with the plethora of fresh seafood serving restaurants in Dubai. Pioneer restaurants from sea side shacks to up market burn a hole in your pocket restaurants offer you the choice of cherry picking the fresh seafood & then grilling/ frying/ savoring it in your preferential style.
Fort Kochi is a name that has been frequently popping up when I search for seafood restaurants in Dubai. And lo behold, I had their invite in my mailbox to try their place in Karama. They have 2 outlets, one in Qusais & another in the food heart of Dubai…Karama. Very close to the Karama Metro station (ADCB now), it sits alongside some of the very good restaurants of Karama.
Ambiance: Fresh Seafood should be had Spicy Grilled. Somewhat agreeing with their motto, I gladly stepped in to their small and packed restaurant. What strikes you is the unmistakable display of fresh marinated Seafood on display. The Sheris, Kofers, Pomfrets & Prawns make their presence felt at the entrance itself.
The Shawermas at the entrance offer a confusing look to the place serving fresh seafood.
What I liked was the small bucket kept on every table to gather up the remains of the meal.
The place can get cramped for a large family (we were 6 people) as the table size doesn’t do justice to the amount of food that is ordered.
Service: We didn’t let them know that we were invited there till the end of meal. Isn’t that the best way to judge a restaurant? Yet, the Service was spot on. Right from helping us select the fish to recommendation of the dishes to serving up the fish, it was well on course.
Food: Fish haters can stop reading it here itself as from here on, I will only be talking about the seafood feast we had yesterday.
We started with their recommendation of a Trio of starters, the Prawn Cocktail, the Chilli Roast & the Grilled Butterfly Garlic Prawns.
Prawn Cocktail: Very similar to the Dynamite Shrimps as we know them, it had crispy batter fried prawns tossed in a sweet spicy mayonnaise. It was creamy good. Good start!
Butterfly Garlic Prawns: Again, the Prawns were spot on grilled with a hint of garlic flavor.
Chilli Roast: The best dish of the night by a loooong shot. shrimps, crabs & small chunks of squid rings tossed in a super spicy and sour red chilly paste & presented. It was every bit as delicious as I imagined it to be. So good, we went for a repeat after I had licked off all the masala off the plate. 😀
For the Mains, we chose a large Kofer fish to be spicy grilled in Kerala spices, along with a Black pepper fish curry & Shrimps curry & some breads on the side.
We started up with some fresh salad & potato wedges for the Little Critic.
Kofer Grilled: This was supposed to be the Hero of the evening & it managed to play it’s part well. The fish wasn’t over cooked & the spices offered a great balance to the white flesh. They were also courteous to serve it up for us.
Fish Pepper Masala: King fish fillets in a black pepper & coconut milky gravy. The gravy was a different flavor to the usual red chilly flavor on the table but the fish fillets had their skin on, which was kind of a distraction.
Shrimps Curry: Red chilly & coconut ground together to create the base for this shrimp curry which was good company to the rice.
The Breads were a total disappointment with neither of the Parathas ( Kerala / Wheat) being flaky & the Chapatis being too thick.
The Rice & Fish Gravy were super spicy good.
Amongst the drinks, the Orange Juice was fresh but the Mint Lime Juice wasn’t sour enough & lacked the lemon flavor.
Pricing: The meal for 2 should be around 100 Dhs. Reasonably priced. My advice is go in a group of 4 atleast to enjoy the large grilled fish which can be too much on your plate for 2 people.
Final Verdict: Good place to have fresh grilled fish without the parking hassles & long queue of Jumeirah & near about joints. Try the Chilli Roast for sure & set in for a great value for money experience.