Giri Manja’s: Mangalore’s Coastal Cuisine At Its Best
Image Credit: Fish Thali at Giri Manja's / Pic- Sidharth Bhan Gupta

On the southern coast of Karnataka lies the cultural and culinary melting pot, the city of Mangalore. Throughout the city, you will find fine specimens of its delicious cuisine. The food you get in Mangalore restaurants is par excellence, rich with exceptional ingredients from land and the sea, blessed with aromatic spices and masalas, and aided with varied cooking methods and techniques. The multicultural city of Mangalore conjures up some delicious coastal non-vegetarian food and a variety of vegetarian food that will leave any food enthusiast’s mouth-watering.

Being on the Arabian coast, Seafood is a much-celebrated ingredient group. Many roadside restaurants in the city would give any top seafood joint in the country a run for their money. However, ‘Giri Manja’s’ in Kudla or Kudial (Mangalore) offers one of the most authentic dining experiences and is the top recommendation for any food lover to begin the culinary exploration in the city of Mangalore. Set up in a small lane in Car Bazaar, this tiny restaurant seats about 30-40 people at a time, and often a similar number of people are waiting outside for their turn to dine. It is Open only for lunch and six days a week (Sunday Closed).

Tawa fry butter fish

Each day the menu changes, with some new unique dishes added as the day’s special, and most of the usual affairs remaining the same. Thus, if you are lucky, you can try unique seafood dishes like a Mori Fry (shark), a special crab ghee roast, or whatever is the fresh catch from the Arabian Sea.

Eating a meal on the wooden bench- next to fellow diners in style similar to a community meal, the experience of dining at Giri Manja’s extends beyond just the taste and recipes. The aroma abounds in the dining room, and the aura of gastronomic satisfaction is unmissable. As you happily overeat, gorging on the beautiful cuisine, you can help yourself with a few glasses of their coconut lime juice, which is just the perfect accompaniment to the meal and an effective palate cleanser.

The whole city of Mangaluru truly loves this exemplary representation of their beautiful cuisine, and anybody who visits Giri Manja’s is bound to become its raving fan for life.

Sidharth Bhan Gupta is a Hospitality/F&B Consultant travelling across India exploring regional cuisines.