The restaurant is synonymous with cuisine from the coastal regions of south-west India, covering Goa, Mangalore and Kerala. The research team has dug deep into the regions, giving rightful place to the food of certain communities like the Moplahs of Malabar, Konkani Brahmins of Mangalore, Syrian Christians of Travancore, Havyaka Brahmins of Vitla, Calicut Muslims, Bunts of Mangalore, and the Portuguese descendants of Goa.
Naren Thimmaiah, executive chef of The Gateway Hotel, Bangalore, has been the face of Karavalli for over two decades. He joined the Taj Group of Hotels after completing his graduation in commerce and subsequent graduation in hotel management. He travels often, trying out the various fare of eateries and homes along the south-west coast of India. “No trial, no error, just replication of mothers’ and grandmothers’ food,” he says.
Two things have worked for us for 27 years. One, around 70-80 per cent of the ingredients is sourced from the region. Two, six of us have been working for 15-25 years in the same place so there is consistency in the dishes. I have been coordinating with chef Sonu Koithara of Taj Bengal down to sourcing 500 pieces of Kundapura coconuts! — executive chef Naren Thimmaiah, The Gateway Hotel, Bangalore
Tiffin Karrier: The food is served in a brass tiffin carrier, and tries to recreate the tradition of “hot homemade lunch”. West Coast Seafood Grill: A must-try for seafood lovers. Fresh catch is steeped in marinades, the recipes of which come from family kitchens. It is then freshly grilled and served hot.
Wood Fired Curries: Going back in age is what the Karavalli experience is all about. These are curries in clay chattis which lend their earthy flavour when cooked on wood fire.
Pothi Choru: A traditional meal and a common sight on long train or bus journeys, when the banana leaf parcel is opened the aroma of the delicious food spreads all around!
Dabra Coffee: A cup of steaming filter coffee served in the silver dabra set.