Purunchi: “Not Just Another Local Food Joint!”

At Bacon & Rags we get excited about many things. We can toss and turn for ages in bed thinking about that amazing burger we just inhaled or about our next culinary trip. However, one thing that really gets our blood pumping is the prospect of awesome local food. It’s no surprise that we dropped everything we were doing to immediately check out Purunchi.

Located behind the water plant at Koredor, chef Nelson serves local food that will propel you back to your youth. “Grandma’s cooking” at its best, the place is run by Mimi and Gina. The restaurant is basically a fisherman’s hut and the entrance leads to the back through the kitchen. We were jovially greeted by Mimi and were asked to take any seat available.

Guests are seated at the back on the narrow pier. Cooking is done in the kitchen and in a side alley between the neighbouring hut. When we returned disappointed to the kitchen that there were no seats available, Mimi suggested we take the “penthouse.” And we are glad we did. Sitting on top of all the hustle and bustle, the penthouse looks out on the water. A cool breeze welcomed us as we took in the scenery.

“We source the fish directly from the fishermen”, Mimi says, pointing to her neighbours cleaning freshly caught fish on their boats. “We serve whatever is freshly caught that day.” The menu is simple. Fish soup as an appetizer and the catch of the day as a main. You can either order tamarind juice, lemon juice, water or beer. Of course, we immediately inquired whether they still had purunchi left, but unfortunately they were fresh out. So instead we ordered snoek and mula. The main course is served with rice or funchi and a side salad.

Mimi works as a civil servant during the week and on weekends she helps out at Purunchi. “We started about two years ago on the weekends only. Slowly, but surely our business grew as people stopped by regularly and recommended the place to their friends”, Mimi tells us. Now they are planning on expanding the pier to create more seating. We totally encourage this move, because we feel the world needs to seize the opportunity to taste their awesome food.

The snoek and mula were juicy, the creole sauce was spot on and the sides were perfect. The tamarind juice is not too sweet and not too sour, which pleased Danielle a.k.a. Goldy Locks, and the lemon juice was just right.

Although patience is key- poor chef Nelson needs time to cook the food to perfection- the vibe and feel of the place makes up for a lot. Do pay this great restaurant a visit and try to sit in the “penthouse”, but be prepared to get booted out when we arrive!

Food: 9- a worthy competitor of Sabor di Playe Westpunt.

Location: 7- it is centrally located, but parking and seating is limited.

Service: 6- service is a bit slow, but Mimi and the gals make up for it with their smiles and their expectation management skills.

Ambiance: 9- sit for hours in the “penthouse” and watch the fishermen work or the pelicans fish.