Food @ Trivandrum

Akash Hotel – Naadan Chicken Biriyani

Manvila, Sreekariyam is a place I goto for work cause its where the film production house of my friend whom I work with is located… This time, again due to the timing, as I was leaving, I stepped into Akash Hotel, a small local restaurant at the Manvila junction hoping for lunch… Its just a walkable distance from the production house to this place and also where the nearest bus stop and auto stand is located too…

Image Courtesy: Google Maps

The restaurant has that old rustic vibe to it in every way from its interiors to how the owner and staff behave, to the menu too… It really has been a long time since I ate at a place like this and so felt quite nostalgic to be honest… πŸ™‚

Coming to the food, the choices were limited to either the Kerala Meals or Biriyani… I went for their Chicken Biriyani and since I love having fried seafood with Biriyani, also went for their Fish fry which was Netholi (Anchovies) fish today… Both were served in a couple of minutes as shown in the pics below…

As can be seen in the pics, this is not a dum biriyani… This reminds me of the era back when Biriyani in pretty much any restaurant in Trivandrum was not a dum biriyani but rather just a “biriyani” where Ghee Rice & Curry are put together on a plate and served… There are still many places who do a biriyani like that where they cook the rice and the masala / curry completely separately and then just serve it together… Clearly this was one done like that… Also, as you can see from the pics, the rice used is also not the long grain Basmati or the short grain Jeerakashala that we see in malabari biriyanis as well…

So, my regular readers might be wondering why would I bother to write a review for such a “biriyani”… The answer is simply because of the taste… Of course, the rice is not a “premium” quality one as you can’t expect small restaurants like these to have that… But what surprised me is that the rice did have a nice but subtle flavour of ghee in it… In addition to that, it has some finely chopped carrots and also fried onions inside as well along with a few pieces of fried Cashew nuts and Raisins, all having the fragrance of ghee and oil… So, this really was a good ghee rice to have and I was pleasantly surprised at this…

Of course, there is nothing special about the salad and the pickle… Just normal ones… However, the highlight and the very reason why I decided to write this review is the Chicken curry inside the Biriyani (I really wish I had taken more photos of this)… This curry was just awesome… Its the quintessential onion-tomato based Kerala Style Chicken curry and the Chicken was cooked so perfectly that the meat fell off the bone at the slightest touch and you really don’t need teeth to chew this meat… It was so soft that it felt like it was just melting in my mouth… The garam masala used is definitely one of the best tasting ones I have had… Really well balanced… The curry was definitely spicy but there was a slight sweetness as well overall to it… The ghee rice and this curry ended up being an awesome combination of flavours… Overall, although unconventional for these days, this biriyani is definitely a must try !!!

Next up is the Fish Fry… As I said before, it was made using the Netholi (Anchovies) fish… Clearly, as in common in most restaurants, the fried fish are prepared in advance plus, my timing was a bit late too and so, the fish was only a bit lukewarm but its ok… The spice rub felt like the classic Kerala style dry Red Chilly – Turmeric – Pepper – along with Ginger – Garlic paste plus a subtle sour component which in this case felt like Lemon Juice… The fish was cooked well too with the flesh remaining soft was a slightly crispy skin… As shown in the pic, they had served it with sliced onion and strips of Pappadam which appeared to have fried along with the fish or at least in the same oil used to fry the fish and hence its colour… Once again, its a must try…

So, thats it for today… Overall, a lunch I ended up enjoying very much that I have decided to make this place a regular spot for me whenever I head over to Manvila area again… For now, I am hoping to try their Kerala meals next time… πŸ™‚

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