A platter full of seafood

This food festival gives you a taste of the best of fish and crabs from the Kakinada region

Driving away from the buzz of the city life on the smooth and scenic coastal route to Rushikonda is a big stress-buster. But that is not the only thing that has been drawing crowds to this beach. The Vihar restaurant situated on the hills of Rushikonda overlooking the sea is brimming with people on a week day afternoon. A smoky flavour envelopes the place as I enter. While the restaurant on any day has a steady client?le, this time it is the ongoing seafood festival that has been winning the hearts of foodies.

The speciality of the festival is the fish and crabs that have been procured from a village near Kakinada, about 150 kilometres from Visakhapatnam. Chef Jagan Mohan and his team have dished out a veritable feast of Andhra seafood delicacies.

There are two types of crabs here and dry fish as well apart from the hot favourites of vanjaram and konam varieties of fish. I try the endi nattalu pakodi first. Crispy and fresh, this small fish variety makes for a perfect starter to begin your seafood feast. It complements well with a mocktail or cocktail. Next, I try the gulivindala roast. Not as crispy as the nattalu, this fish has a mild taste. If you prefer your starters to be on the other side of spicy and not too overpowering, then go with this dish. The highlight of the festival is the chuka pethala iguru or crab curry. The best way to savour the crab is with your hands. While it may be quite an effort to dig out the meat, it is totally worth all the pains! ?Kakinada coast is known for its crabs and is exported to many East Asian countries like Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore. We wanted to showcase the two popular varieties through the food festival,? says Seshagiri Mantri of Vihar.

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