Kanua, Bengaluru's Konkan outpost

Given the number of posts that I have written on Bengaluru one might think I live there.

Well, tomorrow is going to be third trip to Bengaluru in the last two months or so. Last couple of times were for reviews. This time it is personal.

I went to Kanua during my last visit for dinner once I was done with my work at the Marriott Whitefield. Kanua is a place strongly recommended to me by Sushobhan who had earlier pointed me to a couple of great eats in terms of Home Town in Singapore and Cheers Coorgi in Bengaluru. Unfortunately both have shut down from what I have heard. He had also told me about Anjappar in Chennai, whose branch in Bengaluru I enjoyed.

This time I made it to Kanua after not being able to do so in my earlier trips. It is a bit awkwardly located in a remote place called Sajjapur and in a bylane there.

We went there at night. Went up the stairs to the restaurant which is on the first floor. The furniture reminds you of that of an old South Indian house. The restaurant is open on three sides which is a very pleasant place to be in thanks to the lovely cool Bengaluru weather. It is quite a spread out place and a couple of tables, apart from ours were occupied that evening. The lighting was rather dim. We could barely see the food. The camera struggled.

I started with the chicken ghee roast which Sushobhan recommended. It’s a special here and has its own special place in the menu. It’s about 400 Rs plus which I thought was expensive for a chicken starter in a non AC place. 

The chicken lived up to its star billing though. Extremely juicy. Shrouded in the aromas and taste of the ghee that its name promised.

We also ordered a prawn tava fry. Again a 400 Re plus dish. Again a work of art. Succulent prawn, cooked just right and livened up by spices that energised but didn't cloud the dish and allowed the flavours of the prawn to come through.

We ordered two curries. First the Kanua mutton curry where the mutton was soft but the sauce lacked punch when combined with the thick red rice that we ordered. The curry lacked flavour and perhaps would have been paired better with roti than rice.

Since the mutton turned out to be less for the 4 of us, we called for a nahalak (not sure of the name) chicken curry which our waiter assured us would be brought to us quickly.

Which it was. The curry again uninspiring and the chopped pieces of chicken bordered on being tough and didn't have the flavour zest of the two fries that we ordered earlier.

This was my first experience of Konkan food. I have tried Konkanast Brahmin food in Vinay Lunch Home in Mumbai but that's vegetarian and the menu very different. You could say that the Malvani places of Mumbai would be similar though there is no ghee roast there. And frankly the curries in Malvani Asvad and Sindhudurg, my Malvani favourites in Mumbai, pack a lot more punch than in Kanua.

Was the trip to Kanua and the wait for it worth it?

For the fries and the cool weather yes, but next time I would skip the curries.

I found the comment by Samidha very interesting and am pasting here:

Hi Kalyan,

I have been a lurker for quite some(!) time and somehow never commented although I abs love your write ups (I drool thru most of them :)) that totally reflect your passion for food.
Abt Kanua, I believe you are confused with the word 'Konkani'. Kanua primarily serves food from Konkani speaking community of northern coastal Karnataka (Karwar, Kumta, bhatkal etc.) and not Konkan (again coastal) region of Maharashtra.
Konkani is a dialect of Marathi and Kannada and communities at the coastal border and along the coast of KA speak the language. 
Their staple is fish and rice (like Bongs) and meat is rare appearance (possibly coz exports have sky rocketed fish prices even in coastal regions). 
that explains why you did not enjoy meat dishes there (Chicken Ghee Roast is a Mangalore speciality)

You will find similarities between fish prepped in Konkan MH, Goa and the Konkani regions of Karnataka(use of coconut, teppal etc.) and the difference is in the use of local ingredients in these regions.
So the use of Kokum in MH gets converted to use of tamarind in KA and so on.

I have been to Kanua and agree with you that the prices are steep.
Being a hybrid (Konkani KA mom and Konkani MH dad), for me the dishes are something I dish out everyday and how my hubby puts 'twice tastier and 1/4th the price' :)

P.S: sorry fr the long post..overcompensating u see :)