Food : Trivandrum Rating : 4/5 Stars

Slice of Spice – Healthy Herbal Chicken Soup, Mediterranean Heat, Sweet Surprise, Al-Ashrouf Chicken

Got the chance to go back to Slice of Spice restaurant in Trivandrum today… This is my second visit to the place… It was a rainy day with some of the roads along the way looking like the Ganges and traffic difficult as routes were diverted due to fallen trees… Inspite of it, I found the place to be quite crowded but still, managed to get a seat…

Last time I had made the mistake of ordering stuff that were clearly not in their wheelhouse… So, this time, I decided to stick to their specialties… Hence, went for what the waiter recommended for me… This included what they call their “Healthy Herbal Chicken” Soup, what they call their “Mediterranean Heat” and a piece of their famous “Al-Ashrouf” Chicken…

Once I placed the order, I contacted the owner to know if he was in as I wanted to personally thank him for suggesting and letting me try a new dish they were introducing in the menu back during my last visit… Turns out he wasn’t there and instead, his restaurant manager spotted me and greeted me… So, this time, the owner thru the manager had me try a new version of an item that they are yet to start serving… In fact, based on what he told me, they made a portion of it exclusively for me to try and let them know my thoughts on it… This item is what they call their “Sweet Surprise”…

So, these are what I had today: Healthy Herbal Chicken Soup, Meditteranean Heat, Sweet Surprise and a Juicy Leg Piece of Al-Ashrouf Chicken…

Even though the place was crowded, the soup came faster than last time… What I got as recommended by the waiter was what they call as the Healthy Herbal Chicken Soup… This is essentially a Chicken Soup consisting of a very flavourful Chicken broth thats thickened along with some pieces of shredded boneless chicken, Egg-White drop, Broccolli and Baby Corn…

First of all, having the word “Healthy” in the name, I didn’t expect the soup to be thickened with corn starch… Even though the level of thickening is less compared to most places, I think being a “healthy” soup, the corn starch could’ve been avoided altogether… It doesn’t really affect the taste (until the soup cools down) afterall 🙂

Now coming to the taste, the chicken broth had a strong flavour of Chicken along with the ginger, garlic, celeriac stems (not visible but flavour seemed to be there), pepper and then there was the flavour of Broccoli infused into the broth… The baby corn seemed to have been pickled in vinegar, hence giving the sour taste of vinegar when chewed into… The Egg White drop clearly added richness to the whole soup… The pieces of Chicken in there were cooked perfectly… Altogether a really great soup… Only suggestion I have is that instead of the Broccoli, I would’ve preferred some Coriander leaves and Bok Choy in it… Not that the broccoli is bad… Its just my personal preference… 🙂

As I was starting on the soup, they brought in the Mediterranean Heat… They call this a kind of grilled Pita bread sandwich, consisting of grilled chicken along with some cheese (cheddar) and veggies mixed with a Mayo dressing with their signature blend of spices… The veggies included carrots, cabbage and onions… Altogether, to be completely honest, it looked like one of whats knows as a “Shwarma Plate” but of-course, different from the rest… The sandwich was grilled and then served with a cup of their signature spiced Mayo and some pickled vegetables (carrots and cucumber)…

Coming to the taste, this felt exactly like eating a Shwarma Plate, but whats different is the taste of the spices here which we don’t find elsewhere… The Pita bread was grilled to a good crisp condition, with some charring as can be seen… The Chicken and the veggies were cooked well… As I ate it, essentially what I could taste was the spices used and the level of spiciness does indeed justify the word “Heat” in its name… From the taste, I could make out that the cup of spiced Mayo that was given is the exact same Mayo that has been used to dress the filling… The combination with the pickled vegetables seemed to work fine as the pickled vegetables seems to give a cooling effect to the sandwich… The quantity of the filling seemed to be just right considering the volume of the bread… The problem I had with the filling is in the Chicken to veggies ratio as I felt that it needed more Chicken in it… Another problem I had with this sandwich is that the taste is completely dominated by the spices and hence was hard to detect the taste of the ingredients… I firmly believe that Spices should only complement the taste of the ingredients and not supplement it… So, not that its bad, but I think some amount tweaking on this recipe should make it better… 🙂

As I was about to start on the Mediterranean Heat, the manager himself came over and served the “Sweet Surprise” the dish that they made exclusively for me to try… The Sweet Surprise turned out to be a starter of chicken thats made with a cream based marinade with very less spice… This is served with a small cup of garlic Mayo and pickled vegetables (same as what was served with the Mediterranean Heat)… Essentially this looks like a variant of the popular Reshmi Kebab…

Although it looks like a variant of the Reshmi Kebab, the taste felt different, as in its sweeter and the marinade seems to use cream and cashew-almond paste from its taste and it was lightly seasoned with salt and pepper… The Chicken was cooked perfectly and the combination of the sweet kebab with garlic Mayo and pickled veggies worked really well for me… Only complaint I had was that the kebab was slightly too sweet for my taste… A suggestion I conveyed to them was that instead of serving with the garlic Mayo, use their spiced Mayo instead or in addition to the garlic Mayo (tried using the one I got with the Heat and I found it to work beautifully 🙂 )…

I had asked the waiter to hold the Al-Ashrouf until I finish the items that I have been served… Once I was done with the Sweet Surprise and the Mediterranean Heat, I got served the piece of Al-Ashrouf Chicken that I had ordered… The Al-Ashrouf grill is what Slice of Spice is famous for and what I had been hearing ever since I heard about them… Whats special about the Al-Ashrouf is that its a Spice and Herbs mix that proprietary to Slice of Spice and they say they use a charcoal grill to grill the meat marinated in the signature marinade, to perfection… Among the choices, I went for the one they call the “Original Juicy Leg” and its a whole leg of the Chicken thats marinated and grilled so that  the meat is cooked and remains juicy… The Chicken is then served with a spiced salad consisting of cabbage, carrots and cucumber along with a small cup each of their Garlic Mayo and their spiced Mayo…

Now coming to the taste, this is indeed different from any other piece of grilled chicken that I have had so far… The Chicken was cooked perfectly and it felt spicy and sweet at the same time… The spice mix kind of tasted like a variant of our garam masala but the taste of the herbs makes it completely different… I feel the sweetness might be because they may be using a caramelised onion-ginger-garlic paste along with yogurt-cream as the base of the marination… The two versions of Mayo that were served were lighter than others that I have seen before… The salad was seasoned well with spices and lime… Altogether a great Grilled Chicken experience thats a must try…

So, overall, a nice lunch that definitely worth ever penny… I am looking forward to be able to try more from their menu very soon…

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