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Wine & Dine

Budget bites

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Restaurants that fill you up without emptying your pockets.

For those less Catholic about their alimentary devotions, super specialty restaurants are akin to chapels of favourite saints. On any given day you'll find the faithful offering homage to a pet patron. Cambay Tiger Prawns is dedicated to the adoration of, quite obviously, the tiger prawn. The eponymous company that originally dealt only with the breeding and export of seafood has lately cut into the fast food quarter with kiosks operating in three food courts - two in Mumbai, and one in Bangalore. It's hallelujah for those who can't have enough of the prawn - season now has nothing to do with supply. Or spoilage.

At CTP, they manage to do quite a bit with the crustacean. It's a short, but stout menu that offers such bait as prawn torpedoes (four deep batter-fried digits), prawn crackers (the kind distributed at Chinese New Year), prawn salad, prawn burgers, prawn cocktails, cold prawn sandwiches... One almost expects to be served by SpongeBob Squarepants. But who's complaining?

For one, the stuff is value for money - most of it is priced at Rs 99. A luscious prawn burger (with mango and jalapeno sauce) is a knock-off at that price, as is the cold prawn sandwich and spring roll. Prawn may be the main ingredient, but there's no overlap in taste because it's treated differently each time. Those who like sushi will appreciate the tender prawn in their salad (Rs 109), the flavour mild and cohabiting nicely with vinaigrette or pesto chili dressing. There are also curries (three varieties) and rice. The Bangkok Goog Thai curry we had could have come out of a curry-in-minutes packet, but we couldn't tell - it tasted quite good.

The portion of rice however (150 gms) would only satisfy a starlet. You will have to order a refill (Rs 19). While the portions are otherwise healthy, the torpedoes were a rip-off at four straight-jacketed chaps for 99. That's nearly Rs 25 a prawn. Apart from this corruption, it was good eating. And drinking. The quirky coloured lemonade had hints of curacao in the lemon-ginger coloured version, and cranberry in the tapioca-tinted one.

Cambay Tiger Prawns, Spoon Foodcourt, Inox, Nariman Point (6659-5959 ). Daily 11 am -11 pm. Meal for two approx Rs 300.

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