Repurposing things seem to be an innate Indian trait. Sometimes, though, this repurposing — especially when done for a purpose — takes a whole new dimension. That is the case with Gajalee Sea Food, a restaurant in Mangaluru — erstwhile Mangalore — that oozes heritage and nostalgia through its ambience.
Imagine a British-style office and canteen that has been converted into an eatery, because that is exactly what Gajalee is.
The high ceilings and long corridors give a definite impression of history, doing justice to the “circuit house” tag that this establishment once was.
I visited this place within hours of my meal at Machali, and was hence a little full. But the lure of some legendary ghee roast pulled me in.
I ordered some Prawn Ghee Roast, along with a bottle of Tuborg. The beer came first, but I did not have to wait too long for the prawns to arrive.
Now, I was suggested some Set Dosa to accompany this dish, but I declined. I promise to not decline it again, because I understood my mistake the moment I had my first bite of the prawns and the spices.
Gajalee stands out in my mind because of the aromatic nature of the ghee roast. For one, the flavour of the ghee was distinct, not just by taste but by smell as well!
As for the spices, the delicate nature of what would otherwise be a robust assault on the senses was a welcome addition. I regret not pairing this with the starchy taste of a Set Dosa to enhance the experience.
Final thoughts about Gajalee See Food
I have already mentioned in the review about two other Mangaluru must-visits — Machali and Mahesh Lunch Home — that a single dish should not be considered a decision-making peg for a blogger.
I would like to make an exception for Gajalee on that front. Its Prawn Ghee Roast is an absolute must-have! Pair it with some good drinks, and you will find yourself in culinary heaven.
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