Mangaluru, Jan 13, 2018: Five techies, who earn fat pay cheques working for an MNC, doff their formals for an apron and toque to pursue their passion: dishing up delectable seafood.
Vignesh Kini, Sachin PR, Sachin Poojary, Hemanth Karkera and Shishir Samani, who work for Thomson and Reuters, ganged up to open a food joint called ’Fish Garage’ in Urwa-Chilimbi in the North part of the city.
The eatery boasts of specialized seafood delicacies, some of them dished up after years of experiments with various masalas, all at reasonable rates. The motto of their venture is to pursue their passion and not to make profits. They take turns to look after the eatery, which includes their office lunch breaks.
Explaining their journey from the world of computers and software to the stimulating food industry, Vignesh recalls that they used to stay together while working in the same firm, and were forced to cook. "We needed to survive, so we were compelled to cook. During this time, the chefs in us came to the fore. We started experimenting with different dishes. While others just cook with some rough calculation, we started measuring each ingredient. This went on for one-and-a-half years. We used to invite friends and colleagues and seek suggestions for improvement. Then we decided to open an eatery. Fish Garage opened a few days ago and we want to keep it going."
The menu has exclusive fish dishes cooked in Gowd Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) style and some local traditional delicacies. The menu with limited items, ranging from 16-18 dishes.
Why just sea-food? Kini answers: The first reason is that my brother has a fishing boat and can get fresh produce every day. Second, the fish restaurants in Mangaluru are overpriced and some are hyped. Our prices are pocket-friendly and offer the customer fresh fish. Even the coconut oil we use is procured from one of our partner’s factory."
They invested their engineering skills in the 350sqft eatery, not wasting space. The eatery can accommodate 24 people at a time. They christened it ’Fish Garage’ because it was earlier a garage.
Own masala : The masala used at Fish Garage are blended and supervised by the techies. Kini says he wakes up by 5am, when the masalas are ground. "We’ve hired a few people, who are not all from the hotel industry, and trained them for eight months. The training included how to take orders from customers and other hotel industry practices. During our absence (office hours), the workers prepare the dishes using only these masalas."
Apart from cooking, they are also experimenting with methods on how to store fish fresh for longer time.
Among the five, two will be tying the knot soon. But they don’t plan to give up their life in the kitchen. "We’ve told our fiances that this eatery will be our second wife, and they have to allow us to pursue our passion," they said.