A trip to the beach and temple towns of Diveagar and Harihareshwar (in no particular order) proved to be good on the restaurant review front. We were able to try out different restaurants on both days to give us a sense of the kind of food you can expect there. To summarise right now, food is much better at Diveagar and there are quite a few options and most of them remain open till 9-10 PM which is a good thing for travelers like us who prefer to be just-in-time for dinner!
I would like to start in sequence from breakfast to dinner where we had breakfast at Vadkhal Naka and dinner at Harihareshwar. First up is Gandharv Family Restaurant which is located at the Vadkhal Naka on NH17. It is on the road that goes towards Mangaon. Gandharv is a veg-only restaurant (which we only realised the next day when we stopped for lunch and had to move out as we were in the mood for some prawns and chicken!). We stopped here for breakfast and had Tea and Puri Bhaji, a combination which rarely goes wrong anywhere! The food was pretty good, hot puris and hot bhaji along with chutney and sambhar which made for an odd but interesting combination! The tea was nice as well, full of milk instead of water! It was a full breakfast costing us INR 22 for the Puri Bhaji and INR 4 for the tea. A must go to place if on the NH17. Maybe next time, will try for lunch as well. There seem to be a couple more expensive places nearby but I think they will only charge more for the same quality food.
Breakfast was followed by lunch at Mihika Bhojnalaya which is located in Diveagar. The restaurant is situated inside Prathamesh Holiday Resorts. Mihika doesn’t have an extensive menu – it serves only fish in non-veg and Watana in Veg and there is Omlette Pav as well. We were served Surmai as there wasn’t anything else available, though they do seem to serve a couple more types of fishes, the names of which I cannot recall. The food here is pretty good and for INR 140 we got a Surmai Fry, Surmai Masala, some more Surmai Masala and plain rice and rotis – quite a lot for just INR 140! It was a hearty meal and I cannot remember eating so much fish for so less!
There is another restaurant, Prathamesh Holiday Homes, right opposite the resort where Mihika is located. Holiday Homes also serves Punjabi food among other things, as the board outside clearly mentioned. Will try this place on my next visit!
We also had a chance to try out snacks at Grasshopper Inn (not sure what an ‘inn’ is doing inside a resort!) at the MTDC Resort at Harihareshwar which seems to be the only place far and wide to serve any kind of food! We had Kanda Bhajiya and Batata Bhajiya which was priced at INR 35 each. The Kanda Bhajiya was golden brown and not burnt, a serious sigh of relief! The Potato Bhajiya was oily but acceptable for it wasn’t dripping of oil! The snack at the MTDC Resort was followed by dinner at a roadside Chinese eatery, the name of which escapes my memory. The food here is nothing to talk about though everything you get here is edible. If atall there was a rating of 101 places to eat the same chinese food, then this place would be in the low 90s. The tandoori chicken we had here though wasn’t bad, a little too overcooked for my liking but tasty nonetheless. Ironic how a chinese branded eatery served better tandoor than chinese!!! The half tandoor we had was worth INR 70 while the Manchurian Rice cost us INR 60.This small eatery is on the way to Diveagar from Harihareshwar and was the only eatery we came across in the 35 kms stretch until we reached Diveagar.
We started the next day with Poha mixed with grated coconut at the Cottage where we stayed. It was a wonderful breakfast to kick start the day as the meal was nice and hot with a liberal addition of coconut. I think I will ask my mom to add coconut the next time she makes Poha! The Poha was enough to keep us going until lunch for which we stopped at Upkar Restaurant which is right next to the Gandharv Family Restaurant. Upkar was the choice as we wanted to have non-veg food. The boys ordered for a Prawns Masala, chicken fried rice and a chicken schezwan fried rice. The Prawns Masala was awesome – it wasn’t spicy and the prawns seemed fresh. I guess we got there at the right time!! Had the prawns with Bhakri – a bread (more like a chapati) made of rice instead of wheat – which incidently was a first for me! The chicken fried rice was good and had a lot of chicken pieces in there. The meal was a cheap one as well as we spent a little less than INR 100 per person.
Interesting is the fact that two of the best places on the whole trip were located at Vadkhal Naka. In my view, this is a definate must stop place for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Also, Vadkhal has a more Veg places than non-veg places it seems as all I could see was veg resturants all throughout the Naka.
This was a good trip as I got to try out so many different places and more importantly different food items at every place. If it was fish at Diveagar then it was prawns at Vadkhal though I think the chicken and the veg food was good as well! Overall, the food was good and the trip was refreshing – nothing else matters beyond that!