Many of us in Bengal have a pre-conceived notion that south indian food means only idly, vada and the final frontier- dosa, that too masala dosa. But, surprisingly, there is a whole array of yummy cuisine available in south India- Kerala cuisine being amongst them. Then our next idea comes that Kerala cuisine is ALWAYS cooked with coconut oil and carries a bad smell- hence, please avoid. But, thanks to the new-age food-entrepreneurs, this idea is about to change. Welcome to one of the best mid-budget kerala non-veg eatery which actually serves breakfast even (hell yeah !!!)- Ammini.
How to go and when to go :
This is easy to find. Take the sharat bose road aka lansdowne road from ramkrishna mission hospital/ hazra road crossing towards desapriya park. You’ll find the manoharpukur crossing signal soon, take left and and after 6-7 buildings, you’ll find the restaurant on your left with a full-glass frontage. They are open on all days from 8 AM- 10 PM, but beware, food starts to get over from 930 PM onwards, so reach early.
A nice one- nothing to complain. It has an AC, nice chairs and tables, a very clean toilet and the interior is done with some nice kerala styled pictures/ paintings. Once we settled down, we were presented with bamboo trays with banana-leaf on top, on which food were to be served soon. And the menu card was presented.
In the menu card, we found one good concept. They actually have very less items. I hate places where they serve thousand varieties of items and none is their specialty. Here, they have very less items on menu card and the dish of the day is written on a black-board with chalk. Hence, look for it once you start ordering. And, the meat/fish items came with complementary appam / iddiappam- that saved us the headache of thinking what to eat it with – a complete package. We ordered butter milk and rasam first and then the food. Somehow, I didn’t like the rasam, it was too thick for my taste, but butter milk was brilliant and made up for it.
The next dish was Mutton Olathede with appam. This is a hot, spicy (not fiery) dry mutton dish with tomato slices- mostly stir-fried. The accompaniment just blew our mind. I love appam and used to have it whilst in bangalore, but definitely did not expect this to be such perfect in nature. For the first timers, appam is kind of a pancake with fermented ground rice and coconut milk.Its mostly soft in nature and can definitely accompany a meat/ fish dish. They serve 2 appams with one non-veg dish, but we ordered few more on a-la-carte basis after that.
The next dish that came was fish in banana leaf with idiyappam. Here fish (I suppose good quality Indian salmon) is marinated in some spicy, tangy masala, wrapped in banana leaf and was shallow fried. Idiyappam is steamed rice flour noddles and a great accompaniment. This fish dish, I must insist, is a must-try here.
Along with these, came the accompaniments (paid):
The first one is a tangy tomato chutney nemaed inji puli and second one is kind of a gun powder, spicy and to be sprinkled over food, called molaga podi. They are good as accompaniments and to be sprinkled over appam/ idiyappam but I personally felt they can come complementary rather than separate items.
We were almost full and time has come for some desserts. We order kesari and unniappam.
kesari is a ghee smitten suji halwa with lots of dry fruits and nutmegs. Its damn good and definitely not-to-be-missed. The second item that we ordered, was suggested by the restaurant manager.
Unniappam is a keralian version of our own pithe, which we gladly found out. Its made of rice, jaggery, banana, roasted coconut pieces, roasted sesame seeds, ghee and cardamom powder and fried in oil in unniappam pot. The restaurant served them freshly cooked and that made our day.
The meal ended with complementary pan supari (imported from Kerala it seems- I don’t like to spoil my taste-buds after such great food) and my wife and son liked them very much.
The while experience was very good and different from the usual food we are used to. The while pocket pinch was 900/- for 3 of us (while we 2 are heavy-eaters) and was pretty much ok. Well, happily, we left wih hope to returning here for some south-Indian breakfast, other than idli/ dosa/vada….. LOL
Bon Apetite !!!
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