Food @ Trivandrum

Aalimo: An Asian Lunch – The First Impression

I had been hearing about this new restaurant in Kazhakuttom called Aalimo for quite some time with quite a number of people praising their food in social networks… The restaurant is located near Technopark and said to be a Multi-Cuisine restaurant, but from what I heard, they specialise in Asian Cuisine… I have been hoping to have the opportunity to try their food for a while now and finally, I got to do the same today since me and mom decided to give it a try and order our lunch from there… That being said, we weren’t in a mood to go for any of the heavy stuff and just stuck to the starters menu… So, I went for two of their soups, namely the Manchow Chicken Soup, which is always my favourite option among soups and also their Mixed Seafood Soup… As for my Vegetarian mom, she went for their Veg Momos and something called Lemon Grass Veg and both of us became curious about this item from the Kebab / Tikka list called Paneer Lesuni and decided to order a portion of that as well… The following pic shows the food as it arrived 🙂

So, lets talk about the food one by one… First up is the Manchow Chicken Soup that I ordered for myself… My readers and people who know me personally would know that the Manchow Soup is my favourite soup of all time and so, whenever I see it in the menu of a new restaurant that I am checking out, I can’t resist trying it… It arrived as shown in the pics below with a bowl of Soup and a packet containing some fried Noodles which is a common condiment for the Manchow Soup… Taste-wise, it was exactly as how I expected it to be – not too spicy and incredibly flavourful with the flavour of Chicken, Chillies, Tomato, Ginger and Garlic taking the lead, along with the Soy, the Greens all tied together with the richness of the Egg White and the fragrance of the oil… The noodles were very crispy and gave that texture to the soup when I mixed them in… A change I noted was that unlike most of the other places, the noodles didn’t become soggy quickly and instead retained their crispiness for a longer time… The chicken was cooked well and the vegetables used were all crunchy… So, altogether, I think this is one of the best versions of the Manchow Chicken Soup that I have ever had… A must try if you are into this kind of soups if you ask me… 🙂

Next up is the Mixed Seafood Soup… I have always loved both Chicken and Seafood based soups alike and thats why when I saw this in the menu, I decided to get it… As soon as I opened the container, pretty much the entire room filled up with this really good fragrance of Seafood and Garlic… The soup was of the clear kind as can be seen from the pics below and it seemed to be made using Fish, Shrimp and Crab Meat, cooked an incredibly aromatic Seafood broth having the flavour of the Garlic taking the lead along with the Green herbs (Celery, Coriander, Chives) and Ginger… I felt that the broth mostly tasted of Fish though the taste of Shrimp and Crab was present without any doubt… What surprised me is the presence of Egg White in this soup cause I don’t recall seeing Eggs used in a Seafood soup before… But somehow it seemed to work 🙂 The Garlic used in this soup was charred and the flavour of the same was of that kind… The pieces of seafood were all perfectly cooked as per my taste… The herbs were all crunchy and so overall, I can say that I loved this soup and is a must try for all Seafood lovers 🙂

Now having tasted both the soups, I can’t help feel a craving to have a Manchow Seafood Soup… But sadly there is no such option in their menu… Would’ve been nice though if you ask me 😀 😛

Anyways, lets move on to the Vegetarian items that we got, starting with the Veg Momos… To be frank, it tasted exactly like every other Veg Momos that I have had so far with the filling consisting of Cabbage, Carrots, Ginger, Garlic, Green Herbs and then flavoured with salty Soy Sauce and oil… It felt a bit too salty for my personal taste, but my mom said that she loved it… Other than the salt level, the flavours were good enough and the dumplings were steamed and cooked well as can be seen from the pics below…

Next up was the Lemon Grass Veg… To be frank, I expected this to be one of those stir fried crispy vegetables dish that had Lemon Grass in it for flavour… Instead as can be seen from the pics below, this felt like a portion of boiled and sautéed English Vegetables (Carrots, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Zucchinis and Chives) in a Cream sauce made using Lemon Grass and Garlic… Regarding its taste, it felt under-seasoned for me and so I ended up sprinkling some salt and pepper myself… Otherwise, I felt that it was fine with the flavours of the vegetables used along with of-course the Garlic and Lemon Grass… Personally, I felt it to be a nice salad that could be enjoyed on its own or with Grilled Meats, Rice, Cheeses, etc…

Last but not the least was the Paneer Lesuni, the mystery item that both me and my mom were curious about… As soon as I opened the container, it reminded me of the deceptively white, creamy yogurt based version of Paneer Shashlik that I used to get back when I was living in Mumbai as in it looked exactly like that… However, the taste was completely different though this too was yogurt based… Here, the taste was like they used Yogurt with crushed Garlic, little bit of Ginger and Pepper along with Coriander Leaves and thats it… I couldn’t sense any other specific seasoning being used except the taste of Butter… Regarding what I felt about it, two things: first is that I wish they had included slices of Onions along with the Capsicum and Tomato slices and second is that I wish the Paneer was still moist instead of being tough and dry inside… Overall, I think this is a recipe that would work incredibly well if done better and the quality of Paneer is key here (especially since you are not covering it up with spices 😛 ) which I think is what went wrong this time where the texture seemed like the Paneer was not fresh enough to do this…

Overall, I felt it was a very promising lunch, especially the soups which ended up being my favourites as you can see from the way I described them above… Based on today’s experience, I can say that we’ll definitely be ordering from Aalimo again soon to try more options from their menu… Feel free to check them out and let me know about your experiences in the comments section below… 🙂

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