The Imperfect Post

The Modern Sadya @ Atelier by Ambrosia

While planning to make the first visit to Atelier, the main motivation was to be able to try what they launched for this Onam in 2019 which they call as The Modern Sadya… However, turns out it was not available yet at the time and so, after a couple of days, I came back, after confirming with them about the availability to try the same… This time sat near the window at the corner instead of the sofa πŸ™‚

I saw the menu of the Sadya placed on my table and it really looked interesting… The waiter will ask you whether you want the vegetarian or non-vegetarian version of the sadya… So, I went with the Non-Veg option… Β The waiter then explained to me that this is basically a multi-course multi-cuisine fusion sadya, which they consider to be the modern take on our traditional Sadya… As he explained this to me, the team of waiters brought the banana leaf and started serving the sadya’s first course, which is the traditional sadya like banana leaf platter consisting of Rice, Sambar, Parippu, Aviyal, Thoran, etc… This was as shown in the pics below…

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However, this is no ordinary Sadya that you would expect as you can already see from some of the items seen on the leaf… Its sadya with a twist… ie, in the non-veg version shown here, what you get is Rice with Parippu curry and Sambar with Ghee, but the Sambar is different as in its a Beetroot Sambar, which is basically the same local sambar but made using Beetroot, which as per the menu, they have sourced from Thrissur… The Pappadom is same but sprinkled with Peri peri spice mix… Instead of a Banana that we usually fine, they have Banana Funnel Cake Fritters… The Inji curry is the same as usual, but they have blended it to form a fine paste and thats how they serve it here and the Mango Pickle comes with the twist of having French Mustard in it too… Then there are a couple of fried Green Chillies and a Hot Pocket, which for the non-veg version is made with Meat and Peas… They also give you some Black Salt for additional seasoning if needed (it goes really well with that inji curry btw) and a couple of pieces of Sharkaravaratty which seems to have been coated in Icing Sugar (the two pieces near the Hot Pocket and Pachadi)

All of this is followed by the Pachadi, which in this case is a Cucumber and Pomegranate one, a Prawn Thoran for the non-vegetarians and then an Aviyal made using Mint and Coconut as well… And last but not least you also get what they call as a Plantain Bonda, which is basically Boiled plantains stuffed with Chicken, in case of the non-veg version and served topped with vegetables and a knob of cheese as shown in the pic…

First of all, loved the Beetroot Sambar… I am hoping that they would let me have its recipe so that I can make it at home to have with rice here… Parippu was the regular parippu we see everywhere… The cocktain chip was nice to have… Hotpocket was crispy and meat was cooked well and seasoned just right… I also loved the Inji curry which was probably one of the best versions of it I have ever had… Mango pickle was ok and so was the Pachadi… The Prawn Thoran was nice too… I just wish it had more prawns instead of being more that 90% of onions, but I can understand why πŸ˜‰

What deserves special mention here other than the Sambar are the Mint and Coconut Aviyal and also the Banana Funnel Cake Fritter… I have never seen an Aviyal made with mint like this before and I found it to be a very interesting flavour combination… The Banana Fritter though, really blew my mind… The batter was incredibly crispy and they coated it with Icing Sugar and topped it with Chocolate Fudge… I hope they make it a part of their regular menu or atleast sell them at the Ambrosia outlets cause I would like to see more of it… Another thing what I liked very much is that fact that they provided Black Salt instead of the regular white salt, cause black salt’s flavour is different and it seemed to create even more interesting flavour combinations when combined with the rest of the items on the banana leaf…

Thanks to the first course, I already felt like I had a great sadya and thats when the waiter reminds me that its only the first course… So, I asked him to let me move to the next course and it was a course of Spatzel with Squid Amok which was served on the leaf as shown below…

They have made the Spatzel by tossing it in Curry leaves and Kerala spices like pepper and all and the result felt like an Upma made out of it… πŸ™‚ I am not sure I enjoyed that but as a combination along with the Squid Amok, it seemed to work for me… The Squid Amok pretty much reminded me of a thick Thai Yellow curry but a bit more ginger in it…

After I was done with this course, they served me the Sweets course, which began with what they call as Basil and Jaggery Payasam, followed by a Butterfly Pea Payasam and a piece of Mysore Pa… As per the menu, the Butterfly Pea payasam is a Payasam made with Ghee roasted Vermicelli simmered in condensed milk and Butterfly Pea flowers, topped with tropical fruits and served on top of Sweet Boondi (the yellow and red colored balls you see there)…

Now the Basil and Jaggery Payasam felts exactly like our Ada Pradhaman but with Basil infused in it… When I first heard it, I must confess that it felt a bit off-putting but when I tried, I found myself actually liking that flavour combination… Now coming to the Butterfly Pea Payasam, I must say it was awesome… It was served as Chilled and it felt like I was eating a wonderful Falooda with the fruits and the Vermicelli and ofcourse the boondhi added further to the sweetness and richness of it all… The Mysore Pa was ok… I guess same Ghee Mysore Pa which is sold at the Ambrosia outlets…

I must confess at this point that because of all these sweets, I was pretty much at the verge of a sugar coma… But got saved by the next and last course of this meal, ie, as per their menu, Spiced Couscous with Rasam Gazpacho and a glass of Charcoal Buttermilk…

The Spiced Couscous felt like another Upma attempt like what they did with the Spatzel, but in this case it seemed to work better as Couscous tends to have a similar texture as our Sooji/Rawa… I felt the Rasam Gazpacho was interesting as a Gazpacho made using ingredients of Rasam… Felt pretty like eating Upma with Rasam except for the flavour of Couscous instead of Sooji/Rawa πŸ˜€ The Charcoal butter milk felt like our traditional Sambharam itself but with the color and slight after taste of the Activated Charcoal used… It was indeed refreshing to have it at the end of the meal…

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Altogether I think Atelier has managed to reinvent our traditional Sadya by making it multi-cuisine, which I think is a perfect modernisation while maintaining the spirit of the Sadya as well… The city of Trivandrum has been expanding its palette quite a lot by bringing in more and more foreign cuisines from Haute to Yemeni to Malay and recently even Japanese… So, I think its fitting to that changing food culture, to have a multi-cuisine sadya to celebrate Onam with… Kudos to the team at Atelier for doing this and I hope to see more soon…

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