Wildfish Bistro in Pondicherry serves a fresh catch and Tamil meets French flavours
Take a stroll down the Promenade Beach in Pondicherry and you will find a lot of delicious eats. But seafood ironically — is not easy to come by. This is why when the culinary team over at The Promenade hotel were brainstorming concepts for a new restaurant, it was settled that a Tamil-French Creole space focused around the ‘fresh catch of the day’ was in order. At the newly-opened Wildfish Bistro, dive into platters of herb-spiked seafood dumplings (Kadal Urundai) and tangy curry concoctions of clams and scallops with a hint of green chilli (Seafood Sudal).
Shell we begin?
The alfresco space which seats 42 is currently only open for dinner only and delivers quite a romantic experience — between the crashing of waves just yonder and candle-lit tables. We also enjoy little décor touches like the fact that our candle sits in a fishbowl, nestled amidst shells from the shore and a friendly blue octopus who beckons our attention on the wall beside us.
Seasonal & sustainable
Over appetizers of crunchy tomato-onion vadams served with a raw mango chutney, we find out that the menu has been put together by consultant chef Harish Rao along with serial chef-preneur Sandesh Reddy. Owner of the luxury boutique hotel by Hidesign, Dilip Kapur gives us a taste of the ethos behind this new venture. “The raw materials are all organic, the seafood is fresh and brought in by small fishing boats, and we work with NGOs to ensure we fish sustainably and do not deplete the oceans around us,” he says, in line with the brand’s eco-conscious sensibilities.
In the weeks to come, we are told that one can expect displays of fish on ice — to choose from — including live lobster tanks. Although, there is an ample selection of Creole cuisine for vegetarians as well — with dishes like Corn patties and Cottage Cheese in a Mint and Cilantro curry.
We, however, lean in towards all the exquisite seafare curated by executive chef Sathish Rajasekaran for our tasting session. There is a Ginger-y Meen Curry and a heady Toddy marinated snapper fillet. But it is the buttery Lobster Bisque that has our heart. We save the Puducherry rendition of the classic French bouillabaisse — christened the Meen Puyabbaise — for our next visit.
Meal for two at INR 2,200 ++ approx.