Harish Lunch home is, at first glance, a dive bar with delusions of grandeur. Its dimly lit, fused metal chairs are basically just park benches with cushions, and the special ‘family’ section is for anyone who couldn’t possibly feel comfortable around their regular clientele.
You could make the case that it’s a legitimate restaurant with a not-so-seedy bar attached to it, but that’s all a matter of ‘what came first the chicken or the keg.’ For this particular review, we had a lady friend accompany us, to give us a woman’s opinion on the matter; which we’re told by our HR department is
very important mandatory in 2017.
On arrival, we were promptly directed to the family section, owing to the presence of the female. Since the entire place is air-conditioned anyway the prices on both sides of the loneliness barrier are roughly the same, which is why we didn’t ask her to leave.
It also happened to be a dry day, owing to an occasion that nobody seemed to know was an occasion, Ashadi Ekadashi; which was unfortunate because in our professional opinion seafood is far more pleasant with a nice cold beer. According to our companion, our waiter didn’t approach only the men to take down our order or pay the bill because he wasn’t sexist; which she tells us is a good thing.
Now about the food…
Even though it’s technically monsoon, a season hated by everyone who isn’t a Madhya Pradeshi farmer, the stuff at Harish Lunch Home was as fresh as ever. We tried the Bombil Fry (145), Prawns Koliwada (Rs 320), and the Shimpli Sukha (Rs.225).
Harish’s Bombil Fry isn’t split in half and fried like most other places, which meant it was a little icky in the middle, although some people may like that. Still, it was impressive for a fish that looks like it came straight from hell. The batter was a little bland, but that made the spicy chutney served alongside it seem so much better. The fish will fall apart in your hand when you try to eat it, so try not to look too embarrassed when it does.
The prawns at Harish Lunch Home weren’t disproportionally large for the price we paid. They weren’t particularly spicy, nor were they exceptional in any way, but they were crisp and deep fried, and we’re men of simple taste.
Shimpli (Clams) Sukha
The Shimpli Sukha was easily the most enjoyable thing we tried. The clams were succulent and fresh beyond belief, and tasted strongly of coconut, coriander, and the rippling saltiness of the ocean. The Shimpli Sukka will unleash its flavour upon your tastebuds like the crashing of a thousand waves inside your mouth (goes really well with the neer dosa).
TBR Insight: The clam shells are a better conductor of heat than steel (or so it would seem), so you might want to wait for a bit before you dig in.
Overall, Harish Lunch Home is an amazing establishment, it’s reasonably priced, the food is excellent, it’s both shady and not shady, they serve alcohol, and most importantly you can bring women, though we recommend you don’t; not because there’s anything wrong with the place, they’re just total bummers.