Food : Trivandrum Rating : 3/5 Stars

Slice of Spice – First Visit – New Rottsy Grill

This is something that was overdue for quite a long time as I have been wanting to visit the Slice of Spice restaurant ever since they opened and I heard about it… The restaurant is located at the same location inside Anna’s Arcade near Spencer Junction where Pizza Corner used to be… Finally after a long wait I got the chance to visit the place for lunch… The exterior looks pretty much the same as how the place looked back when Pizza Corner used to be except for of course the signs… Clearly they are proud of their Al-Ashrouf grills… On the inside however, I was quite surprised to be greeted by a lot of post-it notes everywhere on the walls and even on the false ceiling… If you can zoom into those pics, you can see that many of them are quite funny to be completely honest 🙂

A couple of weeks ago, one of the owners of this restaurant, contacted me and invited me for a private tasting event organised to test out some new items that they were planning to introduce… Unfortunately, being engaged elsewhere, I couldn’t attend the same… Hence, I contacted that owner before going there first of all to confirm the location and also to know if any of the new items are available and which they are… So, he basically informed me about a new series of grilled items in their menu, which they call as Rottsy…  Apparently it has only been a week since they started serving it… From the brief conversation with the owner and. the manager at the restaurant (whom to my surprise is somebody I have met before as manager of another restaurant which was one of my favourites when it existed), I came to understand that Slice of Spice prides itself on the special spice mixes that they have come up with… The one they call Al-Ashrouf apparently was a hit and now the Rottsy is a new one they came up with which they hope will also be a hit… The owner also recommended that I try the leg piece option unless I am a die-hard breast fan… Its not secret that the dark leg and thigh meat in a chicken tastes better than the white breast meat… He also recommended that among the beverages, I try their new Expresso Milk Shake as well…

Hence, I decided to try a piece of the Rottsy Grilled Chicken as the appetiser, while leaving the Al-Ashrouf for next time and along with it I had the Smoked Chicken Balls Soup and for mains their Malabar Dum Biriyani and for dessert, tried their Rabri Falooda… I first didn’t plan on getting the dessert and so ended up ordering an Expresso Shake as recommended by the owner at first… The decision to order dessert was made in the last minute… However, to my surprise, they made the Expresso Shake as complementary and let me express my thanks to the owner and manager for doing that…

Now, coming to the food, the first to arrive as expected was the soup they call their Smoked Chicken Balls Soup… It came as shown in the pic… From the outside, it pretty much looks like any other non-cream Chicken soup, but on the inside are two chicken meat balls, that appear to have been grilled because of the grill marks as can be seen in the pic below…

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Other than the meatballs, the soup is a thickened chicken broth with eggs and green onions and cilantro… My only problem with the soup was that the broth was made too thick with starch, which I believe is completely an unnecessary thing to do… Leaving that aside, its definitely one of the best tasting chicken broths I have ever had… The meatballs made up of smoked chicken was also incredibly flavourful… The soup was also perfectly seasoned with salt and pepper… Great tasting soup that I’ll recommend to try at least once… 🙂

As I was almost done with the soup, the starter that I order, namely the leg piece of the Rottsy Chicken had arrived… They served an entire leg of the chicken that was grilled in their charcoal grill as the manager informed me and it came with some spicy mayonnaise dip and some salad… I must say that this turned out to be one of the rarest of rare instances when you get grilled chicken thats not dry at all throughout the piece… Usually if a restaurant doesn’t make it completely dry, only the parts at the centre and nearby are somewhat moist… Here on the other not only was the entire piece moist, but it was really juicy with the meat simply falling off the bone very easily…

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Regarding its taste, I found it to be an incredibly complex taste thanks to their top secret marinade on the meat… But from what I could understand, which could be completely wrong, it kind of felt like the Chermoula spice mix combined with smoked paprika and black pepper and then cooked with butter if I am not mistaken… I am not 100% sure, but I think I felt a slight hint of cardamom in it as well… Anyways, its their secret… The mayo dip appears to have been spiced with smoked paprika as well and the salad appears to have been seasoned with salt and red chilly powder and it was exactly like the salad we get with tandoori items usually in most places… However, one thing I can confirm is that this Rottsy Grilled Chicken is the best grilled chicken that I have ever had so far… I’ll definitely will be getting it again in my future visits… I almost ordered some more to be taken as takeaway, but since I was not going back home directly, I left it for my next visit… 🙂

Next came the Malabar Dum Biriyani… The waiter had informed that its a Thalassery Style Biriyani, which being a Thalassery guy who has had whats called “Thalassery Biriyani” from some of the other restaurants, made me a bit skeptical but since I was really hungry, went for it anyway… So, the biriyani came in a bowl that sort of looks like a spoon as can be seen in the thumbnail pic :),  served with what I consider an unfairly tiny cup of raita (I can never understand the idea behind such severe rationing of the raita in most restaurants) and dates pickle… The biriyani came with two pieces of chicken with one of them being a drumstick piece 🙂

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Unfortunately, the only part about this that I liked was the dates pickle which was awesome… Great flavour of dates and spices in it that I wish they would actually sell bottles of it as its way better that the ones we already get in the supermarket… 🙂 The raita, well, is as good as it can be… However, the actual biriyani was not as good as I had hoped… I guess it was a bad day for the chef who made it… On the positive side, the pieces of chicken was cooked perfectly and by themselves tasted good enough… However on the downside, the rice felt to be overcooked and I am not sure that actual Jeerakasala rice was used or not as I couldn’t detect the fragrance of that rice in it… The rice and the masala felt like it needed more seasoning and more spices in it… Also, one of the most important thing is the presence of the fragrance and flavour of ghee which I felt was completely missing from this biriyani… However, what amazed me is that the dates pickle that was given ended up compensating for the pitfalls of the biriyani… I say this because, when I mixed in the pickle with. the rice and the masala, the whole thing tasted quite nice… So, if you are having this and find yourselves having the same experience as myself, just make sure to ask for extra pickle and it will be fine… 🙂

By this time the expresso shake had also arrived and I really liked that one… Good taste of the coffee in there…

Having skipped breakfast, I felt like having a dessert as well and so in their menu, the Rabri falooda caught my eye… Because that reminded me of the faloodas I had in Mumbai and got it hoping to get something similar… It came as can be seen in the pics below… It had vanilla ice cream, fresh fruits, the rabri, vermicelli, cashewnuts and some blobs of butterscotch, which I think are attempts at making the English Toffee and topped with caramel and some cashew nuts…

I had mixed feelings about this one… Let me tell you why… As you go from top to bottom, first you get the scoop of vanilla ice cream with roasted cashew nuts and caramel, which is great… Then as you dig further, you get the first wave of the English Toffee attempts, which are ok but I felt that they could be better… Then when you hit the fruits, then also its great… However, what all comes after the fruits in the problem… The vermicelli definitely needed some more time being cooked and since this is a falooda, I expected a lot more of the rose flavour in it… Then below the vermicelli were the 2nd wave of the English Toffee attempts and then there was the Rabri and some more ice cream at the bottom… Honestly, I felt that the flavours of the butterscotch blobs (English Toffe attempts) and the caramel didn’t quite work with the Rabri and the vermicelli and that was the problem… I mean I think if the vermicelli was properly cooked and the butterscotch and caramel was replaced with Kulfi, this would have been an excellent Falooda… I say this because I liked the taste of the Rabri used… Overall, I believe that this recipe needs to be redesigned…

After leaving the restaurant, I contacted the owner and discussed about the negative aspects of my experience… After apologising for it all, he informed me that he’ll talk to the chefs and fix them very quickly… Apparently they are in the process of completely revamping their menu… That is, more new items to be added plus, recipes of existing dishes revised and corrected if needed… Once everything gets implemented and ready, I hope that this place flourishes and truly be one of the best eating spots in Trivandrum… I for one will be eagerly waiting for it…

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