It’s not often than I venture to Karama but I sometimes wonder why not when the food is so cheap and good!?
I was first introduced to Calicut Paragon many moons ago by South Indian friends. This restaurant has received a number of accolades over the years for their South Indian coastal cuisine and currently has a 4.2 star rating on Zomato with nearly 1000 reviews!
It’s a very casual dining experience – when I was there for lunch, it was full of Indian businessmen eating biryani with their hands in typical Indian fashion. The decor is basic. Service was swift and efficient.
There’s a heavy emphasis on seafood and because it’s a South Indian restaurant, many dishes use coconut in some form, whether oil, chunks or milk (though you can also order Indo-Chinese, a few North Indian dishes, or Malabar-style biryani).
We were there solely for the seafood so our order consisted of:
Prawn and Squid Ularthiyathu – a dry, spicy preparation cooked with coconut pieces and curry leaves. We had this as a starter, though it was a bit on the salty side.
Crab Thushar – crab in a delicious brown coconut-milk-based gravy served bubbling in a huge clay pot, though understandably messy to eat.
Kingfish Mango Curry – my favourite dish – three pieces of firm white fish with indiscernible slivers of green mango in a tangy orange coconut-milk-based gravy.
Prawn Moilee – 5 prawns cooked in a thick white coconut cream sauce with onions. A bit too thick, sweet and creamy for my tastes but my friend enjoyed this dish the most.
Fried fresh fish – we ordered sherry which was marinated in masalas similar to the ularthiyathu. My friend enjoyed this quite a lot, but I still prefer the fish at Bu Qtair.
Plus three flaky Kerala parathas and two appams.
Total cost for this feast: AED 177
Verdict: Excellent value for money and worth the trip when you have a South Indian seafood craving.
Note to self: Re-order the mango curry and the crab. Try the beef ularthiyathu, mutton varattiyathu and biryani. Arrive hungry. Save time for a nap afterwards.
Ground Floor, Mattar Al Tayer Building, 20 B Street
Tel: 04 335 8700
Chow for now!