What I love about the Konkani fare in general is the variety of fish curries and loads of sea food preparations. I have had a number of coastal platters (thalis) from different regions in the South-Western coast of India - Goa, Mangalore, Kerala, Ratnagiri, Malwan. And every one of them are different. Even though the basic component of each curry is the coconut, it is amazing to observe the difference in aroma, colour and flavour, Even though we assume all Konkani food will be the same, it varies with region. Probably a fusion of the local taste into the coastal food. I wouldn't know. But I love the coastal fare from everywhere nonetheless.
At Machali, you can treat yourself with the authentic Mangalorean Konkani food, It has a portion of rice, and no chapati at all, unlike how we get in Goa and Maharastra, There is a variety of fish curries and veggies with pickle and seafood preparations that you can choose from. The system at Machali is such that you can order the thali and get side dishes separately. See photos and you will understand.
Machali serves a variety of seafood - fish, prawns, suqid, besides chicken. They come in different preparations like masala fry, rava fry, ghee roast (seafood variant of Mangalore special cuisine, Must try), etc. So you just pick which suits you the best. The names pretty much says what you'll get on the plate, You can sometimes get confused with the names of the seafood since the waiter says them in Kannada (I guess) or some other local language, which you may not understand. Ask for a translation from him, from a friend or someone around. It took me a year to understand that Anjal means Kingfish. Sigh!
Secondly, Machali is open only during lunch hours and is damn packed at this time (12 noon to 3.00 pm). It's nothing fancy, Just a little restaurant where you get good food at reasonable prices. That's how I ended up going to this place way too often then I wished to and almost every time with a bunch of my Goan buddies. It was one place that crossed our mind when we were on a tight budget. So you understand you can't expect anything great out of the ambiance or setting. There is a table and chair sitting where you are served the food on a steel plate lined with banana leaf. You need to eat very fast and vacate to make place for the people waiting in line for their turn. P.S. You might also have to wait in line until your turn comes.
The staff is welcoming and tries to find you a place as soon as possible. Orders are taken quickly and food arrives in no time. You don't spend more than fourty-five minutes at this place. Even though it's a small place, it is hygienic. So do not worry! It's similar to some other restaurants in town - Giri Manjas, Bappamas.
I have eaten their prawn and squid ghee roast, kingfish masala fry, kingfish and pomfret rava fry, prawn fry. And rest assured, they were great. The masala fry fish requires a special mention here. I would totally recommend this place to get the real taste of Mangalorean Konkani food.
Sorry I can't find all the images, since I have been visiting this place since two years. Most of the photos are uploaded on Instagram, so as and when I come across them I shall post them below, Meanwhile these are photos of some recent things I ate at Machali. Also, sorry for the bad framing, there wasn't much space on the table.