Take a drive around the city and you’d find many a restaurants claiming to be ‘Pure Veg’ but do you recollect of a place which proudly claims to serve just Non-veg?
In a lane leading towards DSK Raanwara in Bavdhan is ‘I’m Lion’ owned and run by young Chef Ameya Madkaikar. Ameya claims that his place is ‘Strictly Non-Veg’! When we asked him about why the place is named so, the quirky fellow replied ‘kyunki Sher (Lion) kabhi ghaas nahi khaata!’
I’m Lion specialises in Goan and Manglorian cuisines and does a good job. Seafood is their USP and having visited the Lion’s Den (as it’s fondly referred to by regulars) multiple times, I’ve always had a great experience with the quality and freshness of the catch that Ameya serves.
The Kori Sukka, which is Manglorian styled Suka Chicken, Chicken Cafreal, Kolambi (Prawn) Masala Fry and Surmai Rawa Fry are my personal favorite appetizers.
I’m Lion does lipsmacking seafood thaalis with the option to choose between Pomfret, Surmai (King Fish), Rawas (Indian Salmon), Prawns, Bombil (Bombay Duck) and Bangda. The thaali consists of fried fish of your choice, a bowl of Prawn Curry (which is common across all Fish thaalis), three chapatis or Neer Dosa (paper thin, soft dosas, highly recommended), plain rice and Sol Kadhi.
If you’re not carrying the appetite for a thaali, I’m Lion also serves the coastal staple of Fish Curry Rice, with the option to choose between all the above mentioned varieties of fish cooked in Goan or Manglorian Curry served with rice. The Prawn Curry Rice and Bangda Curry Rice are my choice in this segment.
Another must try here is Kombadi/Mutton Wade, which basically is a slightly spicy Chicken/ Mutton Curry served with wade, which is a cousin of the puri made using multigrain flour and a bit of seasoning; very few places manage to make good Wade and this one’s great!
Mutton Kheema with Neer Dosa again is a speciality of the house and a very well made dish. If you’re a bit adventurous, do ask for Crab Masala; this is cooked in a Konkani Masala. Although crabs are not always available.
They don’t have a very extensive dessert menu and neither am I a big fan of desserts. However, I’m told by my foodie buddies time and again that they do an excellent Chocolate Mud Pie. On our last visit here we were served Lion’s take on the Serradura, though quiet unlike the classic Serradura, was a treat to the senses indeed.
What I love about the food at I’m Lion is that it has the touch of home-cooked meals. All the masalas used in their preparations, Ameya tells us, are home ground. The place, though very tiny, is immensely clean and personal attention to all details and suggestions by Ameya while ordering food to suit your palate makes it a favourite eating place.
It’s recommended that you call and reserve a table in advance. Being a small place, be prepared to wait for your turn. The wait, I’m sure, will be worthwhile.
Please Note: THURSDAY is their weekly off.
Address: U10, 1st Floor, Navkar Avenue, DSK Raanwara Lane, near Axis Bank, Bavdhan