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Bite the hook for remarkable seafood. Fish & Bait deserves its name

The decor is comfy, and the food largely well-executed. What works, works brilliantly, and what doesn’t tends to be stuff that didn’t come out of the ocean.

mumbai Updated: Jul 22, 2017 07:46 IST
Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi
Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi
Hindustan Times
Fish N Bait,NT Poojari,Mahesh Lunch Home
Fish N Bait is the latest venture by NT Poojari, who is a partner at Mahesh Lunch Home but is better known for his Shiv Sagar chain of restaurants.(Satyabrata Tripathy / HT Photo)
Fish N Bait
  • Rating: 3.5 / 5
  • Where: Godrej BKC, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex
  • When: 11 am to 1 pm
  • Cost: Approximately Rs 4,000 for a meal for two, not including drinks. Full bar available.
  • Call: 99308-53399

On a washed out weekday earlier this week, we followed Google Maps’ directions to Fish N Bait, and found ourselves being shunted out of the world’s largest diamond bourse by several soggy security guards. We left without argument. What chance would a seafood-heavy restaurant have in 20 acres occupied by Palanpuri and Kathiawadi Jains?

The map pin was off. Fish N Bait is the latest venture by NT Poojari, a partner at Mahesh Lunch Home but better known for his Shiv Sagar chain of restaurants.

FNB is, in fact, excellently located looking over the Mithi river. Inside, across floor-to-ceiling glass windows is the tail end of a large fish that appears to be diving into the far wall, in neat plaster-of-Paris ripples. On the left, above the bar, is an LED-screen aquarium.

The tangy prawns cooked in amchur and white wine are served tails up on toothpicks poked into cubes of firm cheddar. They’re a bit like the sort of thing a Sindhi ‘aunty’ would serve at a cocktail party, but the seafood is perfectly cooked, treated with the light hand it deserves. (Photo courtesy Fish N Bait)

Despite these quirks, FNB is very pleasant, with comfy sofas and some excellent food on a busy menu. Ten pages are divided by aquatic region: Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Thailand, Arabian Sea and so on.

Pages are split horizontally into above sea level (featuring meat and desserts) and below sea level, for all courses piscine. Two pages offer vegetarian food from the same regions.

A red, rich, redolent crab broth forms the base of the Chettinad nandu rasam, spicy soup over chunks of slightly sweet meat – this is a dish designed for a day of downpours.

The lobster meat is cooked well too, but its Chindian chilli-garlic sauce drown out the crustacean’s flavour. (Satyabrata Tripathy / HT Photo)

The tangy prawns cooked in amchur and white wine, are served tails up on toothpicks poked into a cube of firm cheddar. These appear on the page about the Pacific, but taste like the sort of bite a Sindhi aunty would serve at a cocktail party. All of this is perfectly cooked, seafood treated with the light hand it deserves.

As is the lobster meat in a dish off the China page, except its Chindian chilli garlic sauce drowns out the crustacean’s flavour. It takes a muscular fish like rawas to stand up to the lal tukda rassa – the gravy’s fiery Malwani masala only mildly moderated with yoghurt.

It takes a muscular fish like rawas to stand up to the lal tukda rassa, a fiery Malwani gravy only mildly moderated with yoghurt. (Satyabrata Tripathy / HT Photo)

From the Bay of Bengal, we picked one dish which would tick all the wrong boxes in a seafood restaurant: chicken, not fish, and bharta not boda. We pushed our luck and had it with appam not luchis. It turned out to be the most unmemorable dish of our meal.

The manager recommended ice cream as dessert. We complied. Paan, topped with tutti-frutti and shredded coconut; and strawberry mascarpone, tangy and laced with chunks of fruit and crunchy seeds. Delighted with his suggestion, we proffered ours – kindly update Fish N Bait’s map pin. And he did.

(HT reviews anonymously and pays for all meals)

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 20:17 IST