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Food @ Trivandrum

Thaqwa – First Visit

Off lately, I have been hearing about this restaurant called Thaqwa especially regarding their Mandi and Biriyani options and as I was planning to visit the place, I heard that they are about to open up a new branch here in Kazhakuttom and I thought I would wait for the same… Finally the place opened and I got the chance to visit… Basically this is located pretty much between Ambrosia and Brickhouse Oven near Kazhakuttom, where another restaurant used to be located (sadly, didn’t get the chance to try) and since I had the Mandi in mind, I went there for lunch and this post is about the same…

I must say, although a bit disappointed that they don’t have AC (cause it was a very hot day), I did like how the place looked with that nice rustic beach shack vibe all over… Coming to the menu, I saw that it was quite and elaborate multi-cuisine menu… While I was waiting I got the opportunity to meet the manager who informed me that they pride themselves on their Mandi options which they say they keep it as authentic as possible, to the point that they even have a consultant Chef from Saudi national himself and I got the opportunity to meet him as well… However, sadly, due to some logistics issue (new place effect I guess), Mandi was not available at that time and they suggested that I try their Biriyani instead and hopefully try the Mandi next time… I agreed and so, went for their Prawns Biriyani as thats what they recommended I try (new recipe apparently) and along with that, I went for their Neymeen Fry (cause I couldn’t resist after the waiter told me its available and is the fresh catch of the day 😛 ) as well… They got served as shown in the pic below…

So, the Prawns Biriyani was served with a Pappadom on top, along with a cup of Raita and Pickle… There was a nice fragrance of Ghee and the rice as it was being served… Felt quite appetising if you ask me… There was also the fragrance of the masala too which I felt to be similar to most Biriyani masala but a bit more rich and mellow with that hint of being sweet and savoury and aromatic with spices like Garlic, Cinnamon and Cardamom at the same time… Coming to the taste, I felt that the rice was ever so slightly overcooked for my taste but it was ok… The Prawns were clearly fresh and perfectly cooked… The masala tasted exactly like how the aroma felt… Ginger-Garlic paste was definitely the base with ratio more in favour of the Garlic, along with the Garam Masala with an extra dose of Cinnamon and Cardamom if I am not mistaken… I could also detect the taste of Green Chillies (not the heat, just the flavour) and Pepper as well… However, the masala had a grainy texture which I didn’t like feeling… But I loved the flavours nonetheless… Lastly, the raita was not too sour and the pickle was just like any other pickle we get from other places, along with Biriyani… Overall, except for that grainy texture of the masala, it was a tasty biriyani… I hope that texture was a one time mistake… 🙂

Next up, lets talk about the Fish Fry… It was served with a small salad and of-course the classic “fry gravy” as some people call it which is basically the fried masala bits that you can see on top of the Fish in the pic below… 🙂 As the waiter mentioned, I felt that the fish was indeed fresh and although it looks like a small piece, which it really is, if you go by my personal standards, the thickness do kind of make up for it a little bit (I did end up asking for one more piece btw, but thats just the Thalassery guy in me)… Coming to the taste, I felt that masala was applied just in the right amount so that the taste of the Fish could be clearly felt… The fried masala bits which mostly consisted of buts of ginger and garlic and red chilly flakes, gave a heat kick when mixed with the rice… Personally, I wouldn’t recommend having it with the fish though as it can overpower the flavour of the fish as it was spicy… Overall, I felt it was a fine Fish Fry 🙂

After having the meal, because of all the heat, ie, from the sun and the food, I wanted to have a cold drink to refresh myself and among the choices, I went for their Vanilla Milkshake which was served as shown in the pics below… Being the Vanilla milkshake, I felt surprised that they added some chocolate in the glass which I didn’t expect… But I didn’t mind cause Chocolate is not a flavour that I dislike in any way… Anyways, coming to the taste, the milkshake was quite creamy and rich, I guess from the use of Ice Cream in the blend… Not sure which Ice Cream they used but unlike most Vanilla Milkshakes, there was a very slight caramelised flavour to it which felt nice… Overall, the purpose was met as it was a nice refreshing milkshake… 🙂

Thats it for today and overall, I felt it to be a nice lunch for the day… Thaqwa does indeed seem promising and I hope the small hiccups were just the starting trouble of the place being new… I did notice that they have some naadan meals options including Chattichoru, which I am hoping to try when I visit there again… Hopefully soon…

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