Unique, delicious and packed with flavour — that’s what Surfiré The Coastal Cafe’s food is all about. Started by Ishani Priyadarshini in 2018, her restaurant aims to break the stereotypical notion that all south Indian food is vegetarian and limited to idli, dosa, vada and sambar.
“I have been a probashi Bengali for most of my life. I’ve lived in various south Indian states and I realised that one cannot club the foods of different southern states under one umbrella. The flavours vary vastly from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and so on,” said Ishani.
Giving shape to vision
Longing to come back to the city, the Institute of Hotel Management, Kolkata graduate realised that it was time to realise her dream of opening a restaurant, which gave birth to Surfiré The Coastal Cafe.
“I realised that there are a number of non-vegetarian delicacies that people of the southern states enjoy, and I wanted to bring those flavours to my own city. My brand brings together the coastal food of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa that I learnt about and enjoyed wholly,” shared the restaurateur.
New additions to the menu
The restaurant has a cool beach-y coastal vibe with bright colours and a minimalistic aesthetic. But the food does all the talking. Having completed four years on July 14, they have a few additions to their menu, which they hope will leave patrons wanting more.
The menu spotlights seafood — from fish, crab and prawn to the coveted soft-shell crab — along with meats like mutton, chicken and pork.
“With soft-shell crabs now being cultivated in the Sundarbans, Kolkata has access to high-quality soft-shell crabs, which is absolutely amazing,” said Ishani.
“One thing about Calcutta is that people appreciate good food. I think most Calcuttans have a mental block about the mix of curry leaves and coconut oil to cook meat. However, once they try our food, the battle is won and they keep coming back,” said the owner.
My Kolkata tried some old and new dishes from their menu:
Soft Shell Crab
This appetiser is one you simply cannot miss out on. If you love crab, but struggle to crack the shell, this deep-fried beach-style dish will floor you. The batter on the crab is crisp, while the crustacean itself is juicy and has the flavour of the sea.
Oriental Chicken Burger
The restaurant has created a juicy burger you are bound to love. The patty is thick and very flavourful, while the addition of the veggies, fried egg between buttered buns makes it a great meal. Not to forget the crunchy hand-cut masala fries!
Chicken Drumsticks Kerala Style
Imagine yourself lounging on a beach with a beer in hand and craving some deep-fried deliciousness. This dish is exactly that. With a hint of spice and tang, these crunchy and juicy drumsticks will transport you to the beach in no time.
Back on the menu after a sabbatical, this cold refreshing drink from Madurai is all you need to wash down your food. This cold, reduced milk drink is flavoured with cooling herbs and ice cream — simply delightful.
Ham and Cheese Appam
This unique rendition of a classic dish is a must-try. The appam is soft with the ham adding salty umami to every bite. The cheese compliments the flavours of the appam and the mint chutney adds freshness to every mouthful.
Saffron Baked Yoghurt
Baked yoghurt with the rich floral notes of saffron? What’s not to love? The texture is silken and smooth, while the sweetness compliments the rich taste of the saffron. It is the perfect way to end your meal.
Surfiré The Coastal Cafe is located at 24 Rajani Sen Road, Kolkata 700026 (near Menoka Cinema).