In a NUtshell
Excellent quality raw seafood double murdered* & served, in this super retro look & feel restaurant in Mahabalipuram
Address & other details: moonrakers
Meal for 2: ₹750 onwards
Cuisine type : few items vegetarian & mostly non vegetarian
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YUMMRAJ rates all the food items & then gives 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
We got to know about this restaurant from our friend (she got info thru her friend), our taxi driver & also tourist guide. Seemed like quite a popular destination in Mahabalipuram.
So we went here for lunch, excited.
There are two restaurants with the same name, on opposite sides of the road where google map shows moonrakers.
We walked into the older one. This was non AC. The new one we heard had air conditioning.
Our restaurant had a super retro look – for first five minutes we were discovering new artefacts & interesting things around.
The restaurant is 35 + years old but the set up has much older elements. So someone would have collected these from different places.
We entered the dining hall thru a beautiful, intricately carved , wooden door – these kind of doors were common in many rich households in this part of the country. We remember seeing some of the best varieties of these door frames in the Chettiar mansions in karaikudi.
The most visually stunning element was the old wooden counter in the middle of the dining hall.
The kitchen was on one end . On the wall of the kitchen was a beautiful hand crafted wooden panel with mythological figures.
In front of the kitchen there was an area where the fresh catch was exhibited. Customers had an option to choose from here & order which seafood they wanted.
There was option to sit on the ground floor or to sit upstairs.
Furniture was all wooden.
The restaurant was generally very neat & clean.
The guy serving us was quite uninterested initially. Then he got a bit warmed up after we ordered a lobster. He seemed to be lost in his own problems .
On the menu card, there was mention of room rent. That made us realize that this was a restaurant inside a hotel with the same name.
Food – like I said, the seafood was double murdered*. First the creature (fish / seafood) was murdered when it was taken out of water. This part is common. However the seafood was murdered a second time in the kitchen – by putting mindless amount of spices & chillies to it & overcooking seafood – resulting in 1. Murder of flavors of seafood 2. Glimpses of taste of seafood ( only when we were biting in the mid part of the lobster, where the excess spice did not reach), 3. Overcooking led to it becoming chewy 4. Even the beef fry was chewy – even roadside shacks in Kerala do a much better job than this.
Budding seafood chefs shud b taken here to experience what they shud never do. Seafood has flavours, crabs & lobsters have a unique sweetness, the textures are soft if not over cooked.
Our experience of seafood at taj fisherman’s cove was very different – read the full story here – bay view
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
The quantity of food served in every dish is huge. So unless you are in a bigger group, it’s difficult to taste multiple dishes here. The good side is that for a convenience meal, one dish is enough, when had with rice.
We started with beef fry. The masala flavors were excellent. Flavors of meat were complimenting that. Rate the flavor 4.5/5
Black pepper was in humongous amount, making the dish very hot but enjoyable. Rate the taste 4.25/5
The challenge happened in the texture. Chewy, dry, rubbery. Rate the texture 1/5
Overall rating of this dish averages out to 3.25/5
The next dish was tava calamari. The first thing that struck us was the bright orange color.
The calamari was good to taste. Balance of spices & calamari in the taste was good. Could have been more calamari. Rate the taste 3/5.
The texture again was a disaster – chewy, not soft. Over cooked. Rate the texture 1/5
Flavors of spices had completely overshadowed that if the calamari. It could have been paneer or potato as well, in place of the calamari. Rate the flavours 1/5
Overall rating of this dish averages out to 1.7/5
We ordered fresh lobster in butter garlic sauce with High expectations- before the other food arrived. Butter garlic usually enhances the flavours of the seafood & celebrates the intrinsic flavors of the seafood.
Butter garlic lobster here had some kind of slimy sauce at the base – with corn flour in it!!! Someone stop me from using expletives!!!!! *******
The lobster was also over cooked. But it was in better state than the calamari. Rate the texture 2/5
The flesh of the lobster was excellent to taste. Rate the taste 4.5/5
The flavor of lobster was very good as well. Rate it 4.5/5
Overall rating of this dish averages out to 3.7/5
Overall rating of food at this restaurant averages out to 2.9/5
I wud run away at the name of this place, after the assault they did on our taste buds & senses.
Unless someone tells me that the chef was away to meet someone & the security guard had made the food that day.