The phrase “small shack under a bridge in Grant Road” isn’t generally seen as something people would consider traditionally appetising. And with good reason; Grant Road is pretty terrifying. We would’ve never heard of a place like A-1 Fish Koliwada if I hadn’t been eavesdropping on people’s conversations at shady bars. It’s just one of those things you could live your whole life without ever knowing, even if it’s been right under your nose all along, a bit like true love. Which is sort of sad really. A-1 Fish Koliwada isn’t just amazing, it’s eye opening. Who knows how many exceptional little restaurants like it are out there just waiting to be discovered by someone other than Zomato.
As a caring, loving human being, I would never advise my flock to ever hang out under bridges; but in this one case I think I’ll make an exception. Don’t get me wrong, the area around A-1 is still pretty shady, even by Grant Road standards, but even the prospect of having a junkie shank you with a used syringe is worth the deliciousness they serve up at A-1, there’s no question about it.
Externally, A-1 is Not much to look at, though it’s not all that bad either, the kitchen is out in the open, so you can actually see the magic in action and get the unadulterated aroma of a hundred meals being fried away in a vat of hot oil. It’s actually surprisingly fun to watch. The restaurant is pretty clean and has walls that look like they were finger-painted, which is adorable. Although it has an A/C section, we sat outside with our fellow countrymen, though we have to admit, the general section does overlook a shady street, so you’ll have to put with the unappetising sounds of drunk people yelling at their wives. Now, about the food;
We called for the Special Koliwada Rice, which was Chinese Schezwan fried rice endowed with prawn Koliwada, fish Koliwada, egg and chicken(ew). It was some of the best fried rice we’ve ever had and they didn’t hold back on the meats. Most restaurants only put tiny shrimp in their prawn fried rice and we happily go on with our lives none the wiser. But not A-1; the prawns in the Special Koliwada are large, crispy and delicious, & so is the fish. We don’t care much for the chicken, and we weren’t going to let it ruin an enjoyable meal.
We were also served a complimentary bowl of schezwan sauce, and I do mean a bowl. It could have very well been all the schezwan sauce they had. Lo and behold, it was amazing too. Overall, we were pleasantly surprised and super proud of ourselves for finding this hidden gem. Plus we got to meet cat Hitler.
TBR Insight: A-1 Fish Koliwada only opens post 6:30pm, which isn’t an ideal time to be hanging around under bridges in Grant Road. Also, don’t forget to tell them you don’t want chicken in your Special Koliwada Rice, chicken is a trash bird.