Fort Kochi had wowed me with their seafood blast about a month back. Then, I got another invite in my mailbox asking us to visit their Qusais branch. Left me confused, Why would they want me to try the same food at a different location. Little did I know that while the first experience was Blast from the Past, this visit was their Back to the Future endeavor.
Stepping out of the comfort zone of their Kerala style Fish preparations ( which they have remarkably nailed [perfectly), they wanted me to sample their New Offerings that will be open to the patrons in April. This was their way of going forward (the back to the future analogy works here) to a wider base of audience with flavours that goes beyond the Kerala style preparations.
The Qusais restaurant is located near the EPPCO Pump on Damascus Street just a few meters after you hit Dubai from Sharjah. Fort Kochi already boasts of ” No MSG, No Artificial Colors, No Preservatives” & a fresh catch. The interiors are done up all yellow and gives the feel I am back in Kerala on a vacation with the miniature fishing nets & Ship helms adoring the walls.
The variety of fish marinated in different marinades are displayed & you can pick one of them which they will weigh & basis the weight, you will be charged. The fish is then pan fried with minimal oil & then served straight from the pan on to your plate. Considering the freshness of the fish we had, from the sea to my plate seems more apt.
We let them choose everything for us. Little did we know, that there would be a literal ramp walk of 1 beauty after another & eventually 4 fried fish made their way on to our table in synchronized timings where the earlier one was nearly finished & the next made an appearance. Although we are guests & they will provide us special attention, some people want to awe you with grandeur by displaying an array of food all at once, while some take the sensible approach like Fort Kochi did & let us savour each marinade & style of cooking.
We were treated to 4 fishes in all, all perfectly cooked. I honestly wish I could capture the perfectly cooked fish inside but both my hands were kind of busy & took a break only when the next one arrived.
The first one was the Local Emirati marinade which was ginger, garlic, a hint of red chilli & Arabic spices. Gently spiced & let the Sultan Ibrahimi do the talking.
The next was their Shanghai/ Chinese version which was a deep fried fish in a sweet and sour sauce with garlic. Personally, I am not a fan of fried fish in a sweet sauce & didn’t relish it too much.
The Cilantro garlic was the next one which again let the fresh cilantro flavour complement the Sea Bream. Should become a popular flavour.
Thyme Magic with the thyme flavour was the last one. By this time, we were nearly full yet couldn’t resist the aroma of thyme & gave in to our senses.
We also ordered the Crab Mulakkithu in a blow your head spicy curry that left us reaching for the napkins & water glasses more than often. Not for the faint hearted!
Their Fresh Orange Juice & Chikoo Milkshake acted as good drinks on the side & didn’t interfere with the flavours of the night.
We dined as guests of the Hotel but a Meal for 2 should be approximately about 120 AED which is very reasonable for the fresh seafood experience.
My Final verdict is that these guys know how to make fish, two experiences are a testimony to that. Go there & lose control in a seafood fest. Happy Fishing!