City’s first oyster bar opens at Eighth Bastion in Fort Kochi
Indian cuisine is a process-oriented affair. Palates shaped by a multitude of masalas is probably why raw food is not such a popular dining option in the city.
The Eighth Bastion brings a breath of fresh air into the city’s culinary landscape with their new oyster bar menu at the East Indies restaurant.
We seat ourselves by the poolside as executive chef Mathai Thomas joins us with his month-old menu which spots Italian, French, Mexican, and even naadan influences.
“We source these mature salt-water molluscs directly from the farms run by Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute in Kollam. Their experts ensure proper depuration, which is the process of cleaning out seafood to remove impurities,” the chef shares his knowledge accumulated over his 30 years of service, including stints in luxury properties like Taj.
We pick three starters from a total of 10 dishes that the resto offers. The first is a grilled version of the purportedly aphrodisiac seafood served with a piquant and watery green mango salsa.
“We’ve included influences from across the world in our recipes, but our focus is on traditional Kerala recipes,” says Mathai, serving a Cochin oyster roast, inviting us into familiar taste realms. The Rockefeller version, however, steals our heart with thick melted-cheese, herby spinach-and-celery topping.
Our eyes pop out as their colossal seafood tower (`2,500) arrives on the spread. Heeding the advice on not to chew, we slurp down our well-shucked raw oysters with a traditional dab of lemon, and also a shallot and bird’s eye chilli in a vinegar dressing.
The bottom half of the tower is loaded with prawns, mussels, shrimps, and crab meat. The excellent part, however, is the nostalgic naadan sauce pairings including kandari, moilee, green mango and roasted coconut flavours.
Dishes from `420 onwards.