Food : Trivandrum Rating : 3/5 Stars

Turf – First Visit

For the past week or so, I have been hearing of this new dutch inspired cafe that opened up near Technopark Phase 3, called Turf… A couple of my friends visited the place as well and gave me good feedback on the ambience as well as the food… So, finally I got the chance to visit the place and as usual, I dropped by for lunch… The interior of the cafe is designed quite well in my opinion with dutch memorabilia on the walls from brand plates to license plates, etc… The furniture chosen clearly feels retro and quite cozy, which I believe is what the designer was going for… The menu, atleast to me looked like an old antique newspaper and it contained a selection of items from across Europe… There appears to be quite good selection of beverages especially of Coffee, of which they seem to have started their own brand of and there are two live counters – one for Waffles and the other for Crepes… 🙂 The restaurant is still in the “Soft Launch” mode and so many of the items from the menu are yet to become available and its expected to be, soon…

As I mentioned above, the menu looks like an old newspaper and it has a variety of European items in the menu… So, among the starters, I went for their Mozzarella Fritters… Among mains, I was in the mood for a burger and so, I went for their BBQ Chicken Burger… Then as a drink, I went for their S’more shake and then finally for dessert, when I was informed that they have the Crème Brûlée, I just had to go for it… 🙂

So, first to arrive was the starter called Mozzarella Fritter… According to the menu, this consists of Crispy Mozzarella Cheese dumplings thats served with some tangy Marinara Sauce… It came as shown in the pics below, with 3 fried dumplings on the Marinara sauce topped with a sprig of Curly Parsley…

First of all, the dumplings were quite crispy with the creamy and stretchy melted Mozzarella Cheese just oozing out of as I cut into them, as shown in the pics above… The Cheese appeared to have been seasoned with some crushed Pepper and Basil… The Cheese seemed to be fresh Mozzarella rather than the American processed one and so I simply loved it… The Marinara sauce was indeed tangy as one would expect and as mentioned in the menu, but the problem I felt with it is that its taste had too much of that chemically taste of the preservatives that we usually see in canned/packaged foods… So, I wonder if the Marinara sauce is store-bought… Other than the taste of the Sodium Benzoate, which felt a bit too much for me, the sauce indeed had a good balance of the tanginess of the tomatoes, the garlic, basil and olive oil along with a very subtle kick from the red chilli flakes… Overall, its a nice starter and its just that personally, I wish the sauce didn’t have that preservative taste…

Once I was done with the starter, my main course ie, the BBQ Burger arrived… At this point, I have one personal complaint here and its that the menu, especially the burger options seem to be dominated by Beef options and so, I only have one option under their medium burgers and no option in their monster series because, personally I don’t eat Beef or any other meats than Chicken… So, my request to the owners is that it would be great if there were more Chicken options in the menu, atleast one monster burger option with Chicken rather than it being an all beef menu…

Anyways, coming back to the BBQ Burger, according to the menu, this burger consists of a Grilled Chicken Breast, Iceberg Lettuce, Tomatoes, Smoky Mayo and Chimichurri Sauce… For those who are unaware, the Chimichurri Sauce is typically made of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar. The dominant flavors ofcourse are of parsley and garlic. The Burger came as shown in the pics below on a board served with a side of French Fries and Ketchup…

The First thing that made this burger unique for me is the use of the Cornbread Bun instead of the usual White or Brown Wheat Buns… The Buns were uncredibly soft and fluffy, very easy to cut and chew into… The Grilled Chicken Breast was seasoned perfectly, but sadly it ended up being a bit overcooked… The Lettuce and the Tomatoes clearly were freshly cut… The Chimichurri Sauce appeared to work really well with the taste of the Cornbread and the Grilled Chicken and the Vegetables… However, one thing I felt was missing was the Smoked Mayo… But I don’t mind  that case I am not a fan of Mayo myself especially in a Burger 🙂 What needs special mention here is the French Fries… Its very clear that those fries were freshly cut and fried to my order and it tasted awesome and I think its the best French Fries that I have had so far… It was simply perfect with the thin crispy outer layer with the soft and creamy interior as how the Europeans usually make them… A suggestion I have would be to possibly have an option of retaining the skin of the Potatoes… Overall, I think this could’ve been an amazing burger had the Chicken been not overcooked as every other element in the plate was awesome… I hope to try the Burger again very soon 🙂

Now coming to the beverages, I saw quite a good selection of cold and hot drinks, and since I was in the mood for something cold and having a craving for a milk shake, I checked out the Milk Shakes menu and one option caught my eye… They have a S’more Milk Shake… I have had S’mores before but never in the form of a milk shake and so, I decided to try it out… For those who are unaware, the S’more is a traditional campfire treat consisting of fire roasted Marshmallow and a layer of Chocolate sandwiched between two Graham Crackers… I guessed that its a milk shake having all those components of a S’more as ingredients…

Well, turns out I was right… Its indeed a milk shake made with a S’more blended into it 🙂 The Milkshake had the flavours of Chocolate, but instead of Graham Crackers, they seem to have used Cookies here and then there was also the Marshmallow… Altogether a incredibly rich milk shake served topped with some whipped cream, cookie crumbles and a piece of Marshmallow… Quite yummy 🙂

Its after the meal that I decided to have a dessert and so, when I got informed of the available options, what peaked my attention was the availability of the Crème Brûlée… This is a classic dessert typically consisting of a rich and creamy custard with a layer of Caramelised Sugar and how they do the caramelisation is by using a blowtorch after putting on a thin coating of sugar on the custard… The origin of this dessert is still disputed with one side claiming it to have originated in France and hence therefore in a classic French dessert, while there is this other side, claiming this to have been created by the chefs at Trinity College, Cambridge University and thereby called as Cambridge Burned Cream… Either ways its a beloved dessert all over Europe… In the menu here, its mentioned as “Rich custard topped with a crackling brûlée” 🙂 Anyways, it came as shown in the pics below 🙂

The Custard was incredibly lite and creamy… The caramelised sugar was perfect to have with the custard, although in this case, I think the caramelised sugar layer ended up being a bit too thick for me at some parts as the sugar ended up sticking to my teeth 🙂 The only complaint is that I think the custard could’ve been slightly more sweeter as the caramelised sugar was not really making up for that reduced sweetness of the custard… Altogether a promising dessert, which I hope they fix very soon… 🙂

So, altogether, it was a very promising lunch that I had from the Turf cafe… I understand that they are in still in the “soft launch” phase… Hopefully, the issues mentioned here will get rectified soon before the full fledged launch… I for one am definitely looking forward to try more of their food very soon… 🙂

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