Monday, February 21, 2011

Flying fish…Drunken Prawns

Is the dolphin a fish…no siree. They are marine mammals. So why do I have this perception of a ‘flying fish’? Well this is the story…the name ‘dolphin’ is originally from Greek ‘delphis’ and the animals name can be interpreted as meaning ‘a fish with a womb’. But why go to the Mediterranean region to find out about the dolphin…these mammals are seen flying…guess that word does seem ‘extreme’ but when you see them soaring above the waves in that elegant twirl, you could be pardoned for thinking of them taking ‘flight’.

Coming back to the ‘Flying Dolphin’…it is found along the Candolim coast…the real Mcoy and the ‘multi cuisine’ restaurant started by Michael Mascarenhas way back in 1996. Now this restaurant needs no introduction…originally started as a bar serving now operates as a full fledged restaurant, situated right on the beach, a superb lookout for the Dolphins that spin along the coast come sunrise.

So what does this restaurant whose motto states ‘where the sun never sets’ have fior the discerning diner? Well there was one thing that we realized as we sat under a thatched canopy of the restaurant talking to him and his son Lionel who now has taken over the running of the place…is that they keep up with the times.

Eating trends keep on evolving…and besides the Goan, Continental, Indian preparations listed on the menu, and a smattering of Greek…a new cuisine sushi can now be ordered as you sit looking across the vast expanse of sand and ocean. So what is Sushi… well it is the rage in cosmopolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. It is a Japanese dish consisting of cooked vinegared rice commonly topped with other ingredients such as fish, lobster, prawn, tuna….

So we decided on Vegetable rolls…cucumber, avocado, Chinese cabbage mixed with a little mayo…well no fish in this…we dipped it in the ‘wasabi flavored soya sauce…I am getting to be quite an expert at this…and popped it whole, the fermented rice with the crunch of the vegetables and the spicy tang of the soya…even a ‘pukka’ non-vegetarian like me reveled in the taste. Well we were still on our sampling mode so….it was the Calangute roll. Well Calangute was always considered to be our ‘Queen’ of beaches, and here was this roll with its very own crown…a layer of smoked salmon...delicately sitting on top of the roll of tuna, avocado, cucumber and Philadelphia cheese. Uumm! Now we were definitely on a roll…Tomago Roll..Now this was a definite innovation. King Prawn, caviar, avocado rolled in egg (a la omlette style) with a hint of mayo. ‘we get our caviar from the flying fish,’ I was informed. Aha! The full circle. The flying fish arises out of the ‘myth.’ But not the Dolphin in this case…the fish whose eggs give this delightful ‘taste’ to the preparation.

Now sushi was ‘great’ but we wanted to know more about this multi cuisine restaurant. As Lionel put it..’we have a cuisine for everone…the foreigners, Indians, Goans…’ so we ordered the Masala prawns…shades of red. They lay on the plate as if in a stupor soaked in the ‘peri-peri’ chili-lime masala….the thought involuntarily flashed through my mind….’they looked drunk’…but a bite of that succulent preparation…well it can make you soar in ecstasy. I closed my eyes savoring every spice added in this ‘innovative’ masala. ‘goes great with drinks,’ adds Lionel. He definitely has got a point....but I can stretch it further…even great for teetotalers like me.

Well how much can one eat. We sat there saturated to the gills…that comes when you lose yourself in the ‘fishy’ flavor you begin to act like a fish…I floundered through the menu mentally imagining the preparations listed there….prawn stuffed pomfret-a definite order if I was not so stuffed, Greek style calamari…well Michael had the cuisine from that region showcased for many years till he decided that the ‘home’ dolphins should bask on the ‘menu’ pages too. Then there is a ‘kurkure Jhinga’…shades of the heroine – Juhi Chawla hopping around in the advertisement…these ‘butterfly cut’ prawns lightly coated with rawa can make you hop’ around with delight when dipped in that tangy cocktail sauce.

We sat there watching the waves gently lap the shore as we lapped on steaming hot Lavazza coffee. Whether a meal or just a snack, from 6.00 am in the morning to 1.00 am the next morning…you can vibe with nature and an excellent cuisine. Perchance you might also catch sight of a ‘flying fish’ as you get high on the ‘drunken prawns’.

Flying Dolphin
Address: Near Hotel Golden Eye
Gaurowaddo, Calangute,
Bardez, Goa
Telephone No: 0832 5613246

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