In a nutshell:
A lovely odiya meal in a very nice small restaurant, that we will remember for long
Address & other details: Kanika
Meal for 2: 500 onwards
Cuisine type : vegetarian & nonvegetarian
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I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short description- in case u r in a hurry:
It was the last day of our trip to Puri & Bhubaneshwar & we realized that the restaurant recommended by our friend was shut that day. A quick scan of the social media led us to believe that Kanika will be a good bet.
We reached Mayfair hotel. Very well maintained hotel with a massive emphasis on themes, installations & general look & feel – starting from the beautiful life size chariot to the elephant in the porch to the way the restaurants were themed and designed…..
The staff members were very courteous & they helped us have a good time.
Interiors of this restaurant was beautiful – very tastefully done.
The menu card was a long one with pictures of food and good description – for non Oriyas to understand the menu.
Food was excellent in general.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
We started with kukkuda mansa bhaja (fried desi /country chicken). The preparation was stir fried country chicken meat with thick slices of onion and green chillies. There was a slight sweetness in the dish.
The meat was soft and good to taste but it was made from refrigerated chicken. The meat was not from freshly cut chicken. Good to taste but not wow. Rate it 3/5 for the taste but final rating 2/5 for the not so fresh chicken.
We ordered veg thali and a few accompaniments with it.
The thali had plain rice, kanika ( sweetened yellow rice), bhaja ( deep fried crisp karela), badi Chura, dalma, green ridge gourd (subzi) with posto , a tomato chutney and rice and jaggery payasam.
Loved munching on the deep fried crisp karela – while it retained the bitterness and the flavor of karela, the extreme bitterness had been tamed. Rate it 4.25/5
Badi Chura was broken badi (deep fried dried lentil cones) with onions, green chilly , raw mustard and garlic. The flavor of mustard was strong. Badi was crisp and nice. Rate it 4.5/5
Dalma was slightly disappointing as compared to the dalma we had at two other places during the same trip. It was good but not the best in our trip. It was dal and veggies cooked together. Rate it 3/5
Green ridge gourd with posto (poppy seed paste) as good as it can get in a commercial establishment. Subtle, super tasty. Rate it 4.5/5
Tomato and date chutney was almost like the one that is served in Oriya and Bengali households, marriages. Albeit more hot due to addition of more red chilli. Rate if 4.25/5
Payasam was thinner than what is usually had at homes but it tasted very good. It had nuts in it. Flavours of jaggery made its presence felt. Rate it 4.5/5
We also ordered dahi baingan. This was quite a revelation. Fried pieces of baingan dunked in an curd based sauce which was extremely tangy and refreshing to taste . One of the best I have ever had. Rate it 4.95/5.
The next dish we ordered was chungudi checha cooked prawns mixed with chopped raw onion, chopped green chillies, raw mustard oil and loads of chopped raw garlic. A dish that one can either love it or hate it due to addition of raw chopped garlic which makes it extremely pungent. We loved it of course. At times the garlic was overpowering the flavours of prawn. Rate it 4/5
We tried aloo bharta and loved it. Mashed boiled potatoes with a fried masala and some raw onion and green chillies. Quite unputdownable. Rate it 4.5/5
Betki fish with sarson ( mustard paste) gravy was excellent. The mustard had punch. The fish was fresh, flaky and YUMM. Rate it 4.5/5
We also had mansho jhola it was nice and well balanced with a not too thick a gravy – just right. Rate it 4.5/5
We loved our drink dahi pana with chhena poda, curd and scraped coconut. Unique, never had anything like this b4. Salt, sour, sweet – a medley of all 3. Rate it 4.75/5
Overall rating of food at Kanika averages out to 4.2/5
We would surely revisit