Food : Trivandrum Rating : 3/5 Stars

Thakkaaram – First Visit

I have been hearing quite a lot about the recently opened branch of Thakkaaram restaurant in Kazhakuttom… Its been months since they opened and I have been hearing mixed reviews about the same… Finally visited the place with my parents for dinner…

The place is quite clearly designed to give an airport like experience where you have check-in counters for take-outs to the small passenger waiting area where they have you sit till a table becomes available for you… Their menu is quite funny to read as the names are how shall I say, quite creative with a pinch of good humour, which unfortunately won’t make any sense to non-malayalis and also makes little sense to southern Keralites as well… Safe to say, being from Thalassery that we are, it was a riot for us to read things like “Aaran natta pachakari, njangalu vecha kootaanum”, “Aattipaayicha koyeem koyeente kore khudrathum” and so on… Btw, one suggestion to the management of the restaurant from our side is to include one more item in the menu and thats called “Olakka beennu chatha koyeente chaarum, koode beenna kashnaum” as we think thats the one thing missing from the menu… (if you are not aware of that joke, ask any Thalassery based friend you have) 😀

A weird thing however I found in the menu is to see Butter Chicken, Chicken 65 and Chicken Kohlapuri listed under the Chinese list… Anyways, one thing I need to mention is that these guys were fast… I mean, even though this is my first visit to the place, my parents have been there before and they confirmed that back when they went there as well as this time, the service is fast… That is, the food arrived within minutes of placing the order… This is what we ordered: A Chicken Clear Soup for me, A Chicken Fried Rice, Meen Mannchattiyil Vattichathu, A few Neypathals, Veg Khurma for my mom and Ilaneer Pudding for dessert… Unfortunatately the closeup pics of the NeyPathal and the Khurma turned out to be too blurry and so, am not including it here… Hopefully will include those in a future post when I get a chance to take them again…

The Chicken Clear Soup as can be seen in the pic, was crystal clear and was pretty much loaded with vegetables (carrot and cabbage) with a few bits of chicken in it, topped with celery and few drops of butter… I felt like the dominating flavour was of celery in it, even more than that of the chicken…

The Chicken Fried Rice quite frankly made me wonder if the old chef from the former Red Salt restaurant in Hotel Ginger is now working here as it tasted exactly the same, but with a little bit more oiliness… Perfect ratio of rice to chicken and egg and a bit of vegetables as well seasoned perfectly with salt and pepper…

Next came the curry, which as per the menu is called Meen Mannchattiyil Vattichathu… Even though the curry was served in a MannChatty (earthen pot, kind of like bonsai styled one), the curry was far from being “Vattichathu”(reduced to the point of almost dryness) as it felt not reduced at all… However, the curry was a spicy one with the flavour of chilly powder dominating the taste along with the tanginess of kokum and also the taste of ginger and garlic… The curry had a couple of pieces of fish, which they said is Kingfish but as usual was Indian Cobia, cooked perfectly… Overall its a fine fish curry which would be perfect with Kerala style rice and curries meal platter (unfortunately they don’t have the meal platter here)…

The highlight of the night however was the NeyPathal… You can see one of it in my mom’s plate, in the top side of the fish curry pic… Incredibly soft with a crispy exterior, with a jeera infused flavour that doesn’t really require any accompaniment at all… Its now the favourite item in the menu for all of us… Made us regret getting the fried rice 🙂

The Veg Khurma was just like any other veg Khurma from any other place… Nothing special about it at all…

After the meal, I had to get the heat of the fish curry out of my mouth and so, we ordered the dessert called Illaneer Pudding… There isn’t much variety in the menu regarding dessert… I wanted to have a milk shake as thats the best solution to the heat problem, but it was not available and when asked, the only option was the puddings… So, went for it… Fyi, for non-malayalis, Illaneer is Tender Coconut…

However, got a bit surprised as its not a pudding that one would usually expect… The more appropriate name would have been Illaneer Jelly as that was exactly what it is, as can be seen from the pic… Basically tender coconut water infused jelly with some pieces of tender coconut on top… My dad ended up complaining that considering the pricing of other dishes, the pudding felt a bit overpriced… That is, Rs. 100 for a 2x2x3/4-inch piece of jelly… Anyways, tasted faily good… 🙂

Overall, I kind of get why there is mixed reviews about this place… That airport ambience is great for kids, but regarding the food, I too have mixed feelings as some of the food we had felt to be nothing more than average… But that Neypathal is awesome… Highly recommended to anyone who goes to Thakkaaram in Kazhakuttom… Check it out… 🙂

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