Nichola Pais checks out the Crab and Wine festival at the ever popular Mahesh Lunch Home
The giant orange artificial crab sits over the entrance, drawing the curious stares of passers-by. Yes it is that time of year again when the popular Crab and Wine festival arrives at Mahesh Lunch Home, enticing hordes of loyal fans of the yummy crustacean. The good news: a complimentary glass of wine with each crab speciality ordered!
Sunday post noon, the air is redolent with the aromas of different crab preparations, as we are ushered to our seats on the upper level. The smiling manager, who has the warmth of an uncle welcoming relatives into his home, suggests the Crab Tom Yum soup. Rich with the flavours of lemon grass, galangal and the soft sweet crab flesh, this one is balanced out with the heat of chilly.
Our starters arrive with glasses of white wine – the simple yet flavourful Salt and Pepper Crab, the delightful Squid Butter Pepper Garlic and the Kitam Bungkus, an Indonesian speciality comprising of banana-leaf rolled parcels of crab meat spiced with aromatic herbs. We could have made a meal of these scrumptious starters alone!
Meanwhile we suddenly notice diners’ heads lifting, their concentration on their crab momentarily broken – turns out it’s the dishy actor Aditya Roy Kapoor accompanied by Barfi! filmmaker Anurag Basu, who enter and move quickly to take their place at a corner table. Apparently, none can resist the lure of the shelled wonder!
We tuck into our mains including the famous Mahesh Prawn Gassi served with traditional red rice, the fiery Andhra Chili Crab mopped up with delicious appams, and a portion of Prawns Koliwada. Too sated for even the thought of dessert after this, you will find it a challenge to heave yourself up and out after this feast.
While the ever-popular Mahesh Lunch Home might have acquired its fame via its spectacular Mangalorean cuisine, it is clearly going global as far as tastes are concerned. The ongoing festival brings a host of unusual crab preparations from around the world, such as the Steamed Crab Balinese Curry (Indonesian), Crab Tuk Tuk (Malaysian), King Crab Alfredo (Continental style). Prefer your crab Indian style? There’s the Crab Coriander Candy Sticks, Coorgi Ginger Crab, Tankai Crab, Mangalorean Denji Curry, Crab Curry Vindhyas, and Crab Vindaloo.
Even if the wine doesn’t get you high, the crustaceans will!
The Crab & Wine Festival is on at Mahesh Lunch Home (Juhu) from October 5 to 31.