The one big reason why fish lovers look forward to a holiday in Ganapatiphule is, obviously, because of the fishes you can eat there. Our’s is a Bengali household. So you can imagine the excitement. The itinerary is always drawn up in two parts – one for sight-seeing (Read: Sight-seeing in Ganapatiphule) and one for must-eat at restaurants. Considering we’d be there for two lunches and two dinners found out a couple of places. Read all about them here…
Sameer in Ganapatiphule: A completely completely local place that also seemed to be extremely popular with the locals, Sameer is a very simple joint with those nondescript tables and chairs, where you have to remind the waiters to clean your table at least twice, and where the pot-bellied, elderly owner sits behind a high desk that has enough and more sculptures of local deities and two imposing portraits of Hanuman and Sai Baba behind him, complete with garlands, flowers, lamps and incense sticks. The soft regional songs playing in an ancient music system, and the chatter of the owner’s friends who drop by every now and then, complete the picture.
The ground rule for ordering at Sameer should be to read the menu in the big board on one of the walls, ask the waiter what is the best thing to eat and trust him blindly when he suggests you to try out the Thalis. The Fish Thalis. We went ahead with a plate of Surmai Fry, Prawn Fry, Pomfret Thalis and Prawn Thali. They serve it with Kokam drink, Rice and Wheat Roti. You have to order in advance if you want to eat theBhakris (Rice Roti).
Do I have to mention that the food is finger-licking good? That your greed to have more and yet some more gets you back to the place for dinner too? That you wish the place was closer home, so that you could plan a sortie every week?
Amantran in Ratnagiri: Amantran is a complete antithesis of Sameer. This is a proper restaurant with seating both inside and outside. When we went in for lunch, the place was filled to the brim. Clearly, it’s a very popular place. An extremely helpful and warm staff who were amused at our eagerness to devour all the fishes they had cooked, they told us about all their treasures – crabs, bhakris, aam raas…
We ordered them all. Yet again, just like in Sameer. We ordered crabs, clamps, pomfrets, prawns, surmais, Kokam juice and Aam Raas for desserts. And when it was time to leave, we wanted to lie down on the tables.
To say that food at Amantran is awesome will be an understatement, but owing to the lack of a fitting superlative, lets call it super super awesome. If you happen to come this part of town and not eat at Amantran, well, your stupidity and loss!! Mark it in your GPS when at Ratnagiri. Or even at a 100km radius – makes complete sense to drive 100kms for the food at this place!