Food : Trivandrum Rating : 4/5 Stars

Imperial Kitchen : Kaanthari Meen and Pad Thai

Back at Imperial Kitchen once again and this time I am all alone for lunch 🙂 Went thru the menu (they even introduced their new WiFi digital menu to me, although I couldn’t see the point, but anyways) and chose two items that I felt like trying namely – Kaanthari Meen and Pad Thai…

The Kaanthari Meen is a starter and they descibe it as fish marinated in coconut milk and Bird’s eye chillies (Kaanthari Mulaku) and then roasted to form the starter… From the word roast, I expected something that was dry or pan grilled… However, what came was completely difference as can be seen in the pic… I guess instead of roasting, they sauted the fish in coconut cream with the chillies in it, but even then the flavours were enjoyable… I could get the taste of the chillies and ofcourse, as can be seen in the pic there was no shortage of the coconut cream flavour…

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However, I had two problems with this… First and most important one is that I wish the fish was cooked a lot more than what was served… You see, the medium/medium rare cooking temperature works great in the western dishes however, when it comes to our Indian flavours, I have always found them to work best when the fish/meat are all cooked to well done… I think cooking the fish in this dish to the point of being well done would’ve made the whole thing taste a lot better… Second problem is that even though the dish is named Kaanthari Meen, unfortunately, the coconut cream’s taste is dominating to the point of almost completely masking the flavour of the chillies… So, would be a good idea for the chef to redesign this recipe in my honest opinion… Its not that the dish is in anyway bad… For somebody like me who is used to the western cuisines, this is an incredibly good starter to have… Its just that I felt that name and taste could match better… 🙂

For mains, I ordered the Pad Thai, which as anyone following the food scene would know is the most popular dish to ever come out from Thailand… It is so popular that it has been named the ambassador of Thai cuisine… If I am not mistaken, this is the only place that serves Pad Thai in Trivandrum… Its basically flat rice noodles stir fried with sea food(if you go for that option) and vegetables and flavoured with a tamarind pulp, chillies and palm sugar based sauce which if my memory serves me right, traditionally has a hint of fish sauce and dried shrimp in it… The whole thing is mixed with some roasted peanuts as well which gives an earth aroma to the dish…

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The dish is then served with a slice of lime as shown in the pic above… The sea food included were squid as can be clearly seen, fish and prawns… The flavour of lemon grass could be felt in every single bite and I found that it is as I expected ie, perfect balance of sweet, sour and salty… Squeezing that lime juice over it made it taste even better in my opinion as in gave it a whole new dimension to it… This pad thai remains my favourite rice noodle dish ever… 🙂

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