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Food @ Trivandrum

Madison Street: Return of Mahansas – The First Impression

By the time I had heard about Mahansas Kitchen, essentially a cloud kitchen that was quite popular in Trivandrum as a great source of homely food, for the first time thru some social network posts, they had closed down… Then I started hearing about the Madison Street restaurant which is the fine dining restaurant started by the Mahansas team and come to think of it, it is incredibly weird that though I had been hearing so much about them from social networks and from friends, I never actually had tried their food until now… Its just that by the time I could get around to visiting the place, the pandemic happened and pretty much every time I wanted to order home delivery either they have been unavailable in the food delivery apps or my parents had other plans… I became acquainted nevertheless with the management at Madison Street thanks in part to my ordering of the Apple Pie thru them… Recently, I saw them announce the return of the Mahansas Kitchen as in some of the old homely food items as a sub menu at Madison Street and this time when I asked my parents, they wholeheartedly agreed (making me wonder if all this time they had other plans cause unlike me they are not that fond of western food 😛 )… So, we had the Pav Bhaji and Neer Dosa, from the Mahansas menu along with Nashville Grilled Cheese and Mushroom & Chicken With Rice from the regular Madison Street menu… The food arrived as was as shown in the pics below…

So, lets first talk about the items from the regular Madison Street menu… First up is the Nashville Grilled Cheese which is essentially a Grilled Cheese Sandwich but then fried and topped with a spicy sauce which they call as the Nashville Sauce… This is actually a very popular item not just in Nashville but in quite a number of places in US and it was indeed a surprise for me to see this being available here… At this point I must say that I actually didn’t order this item and it was a mistake from their staff that ended up with me having this instead of another item that I had ordered… Anyways, it arrived as shown in the pics below with a few pieces of Jalapeños on top… As for the taste, I just loved the bread and cheese cause of the bread being quite crispy outside while being incredibly soft inside and cheese was a really nice mozzarella that tasted absolutely perfect and was quite stretchy as is expected with good quality mozzarella… As for the sauce, I felt it to be like a spicy version of the Barbecue sauce and the Jalapeños gave it that extra kick… Overall, I think its a must try… 🙂

Next up is the Mushroom And Chicken with Rice… It arrived as shown in the pics below where Chicken appears to be in a sauce and the Rice is topped with some vegetables… Turns out the Chicken was in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce and the rice and the vegetables had the fragrance of Butter… As for taste, it is essentially a what you see is what you get situation where what you taste is essentially what you see… I personally like this kind of food cause of their simplicity and straight forwardness… The Chicken was cooked perfectly and its possible to really know the taste of the Chicken as you chew into it… The Sauce had a really rich taste of Mushrooms along with what seemed like Béchamel to me… It had a nice fragrance of Butter as well and I felt it to be seasoned just right with Salt and Pepper… As for the rice, it was indeed quite fragrant being the Basmati Rice and the Vegetables ended up acting like a perfume on the rice… Butter was the dominating taste in the rice and the vegetables were indeed crunchy enough… Altogether I felt that its a nice combination, though it would be a acquired taste for most as there is absolutely zero localisation in the recipe as it is with most places that do western food… I finally understood why this place is so popular with the westerners who live here… Being a fan of such food, I for one, simply loved it but my dad on the other hand felt that it needed a lot more Salt and Pepper 😀 😛

Next lets talk about the items we had from the Mahansas menu… First up is the Neer Dosa… Neer Dosa is the popular version of Dosa in the erstwhile Tulu Nadu area which includes the Kasargod district of Kerala… In fact, if you goto those places and ask for “Dosa” at pretty much any restaurant, Neer Dosa is what you’ll be served and I saw this first hand during the time I visited Kasargod… The Dosa came as shown in the pics below, three in number, accompanied by two kinds of Chutneys… Coming to the taste, unlike the Neer Dosas I had before, this one was made using Ghee and had quite a strong flavour of Ghee in them and it still had some crispiness left in them… As for the Chutneys, both were made using Coconut but one was made with Green Chillies and the other was made with Dried Red Chillies and a little bit of Lentils and both seemed to have Tamarind and Ginger… Everything was seasoned perfectly and so both me and my parents loved this, though my mom for one wished that the flavour of Ghee wasn’t this intense…

Last but not least was the Pav Bhaji… Of-course its a very famous street food in Northern India with Mumbai essentially the capital when it comes to this and dishes like this… Unlike other places where they serve the Pav (bread) toasted with Butter and the Bhaji (the curry) again made and topped with Butter at the side, here they served it like how Mumbaikars do Vada Pav, which is essentially serving the Bhaji stuffed or in this case, sandwiched between the two halves of the Pav… The problem with this method is that as my mom also said, the bread ends up being soggy especially by the time it makes it way to the customer’s home… Usually restaurants pack the bread and the curry separately so that the problem doesn’t occur… That being said, no complaints about the taste… As expected, Butter was the key part of the flavour profile along with the taste of the vegetables ie, Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, Peas and also the typical Pav Bhaji masala or spice mix… The Bread was indeed incredibly soft and fluffy, I mean of-course the top piece as the bottom one was completely soaked in the curry… Again, everything was seasoned perfectly and all of us ended up loving this… Its a must try and I think its definitely one of the best Pav Bhaji options available in Trivandrum right now… 🙂

Thats it for now… It was a nice lunch overall and I for one loved everyone of the items we got… Hoping to try more from their menu soon… If you haven’t, please feel free to try these and let me know in the comments section below… 🙂

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