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Kala Ghoda. Pomfret 675/-, Hyderabadi shark 120/-, Surmai 130/-, squid 120/- [10/02].

Trishna, once the best sea-food restaurant in Mumbai, has now become a tourist trap. For most of the evening we were the only locals in the place. Now that is not necessarily a bad thing, except that most restaurants which know that their main customers are tourists, change in a few unpleasant ways. Since they do not expect return business, the service gets a little less pleasant and the quality of the food goes south. Unfortunately, this has already happened to Trishna.

We started the evening pleasantly enough with a Koliwada squid for starters: crunchy on the outside and melting inside. Then we ordered the shark, a Surmai hariyali and an old favourite- Hyderabadi dal. That took a really long time coming, although at least one table who arrived after our order got their Hyderabadi shark before us. It was a dry day, and the long wait was not terribly welcome. When we asked we were told the shark takes a long time to prepare.

The food didn't quite turn to ashes in our mouths- they had anticipated thing a bit. Maybe the shark was trying to bite the cook. We could find no other sane explanation why a good cook should oversalt and then nearly burn the fish. The Surmai hariyali was also overdone and too dry. The dal and tandoori roti remain good.

Perhaps one should wait until Trishna drops out of the guide books for the food to improve. Or maybe then the recession goes into recess and the locals come back to the place, they'll improve. One thing is certain, I'm not going to Trishna again soon.

Sea food: Ankur Apoorva Excellensea Fountain Inn Gokul Mahesh Trishna (1998) Wall Street

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