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Food @ Trivandrum

Azad Star: Chilli Cashew Shrimp Noodles And Grilled Butter Fish

This time, I was back at the Azad Star restaurant at the Mall of Travancore for lunch and got to try a couple of new items from their menu that I felt was worth mentioning here and here we are… 🙂 During my visits so far, I have been focussing more on items from the Travancore Cuisine that they are famous for, but this time I decided to try from their Asian menu and hence got the Chilli Cashew Shrimp Noodles… My friend who was accompanying me had their Biriyani, about which I am not talking about here, as I have already talked about it in my previous post… In addition to the noodles, there was a specials menu on the table from which an item called Butter Fish Grilled caught our eyes… So, we asked for that too and the following pics show how they were served…

So, lets talk about the Chilli Cashew Shrimp Noodles… The menu mentions this to be spicy stir fried noodles with cashew and rich seasoned shrimps… I must say that what arrived as can be seen from the pics below certainly did look good… The noodles were perfectly cooked and clearly was tossed in a slightly spicy and tangy schezwan style chilli and garlic based sauce… There were quite a handful of tiny shrimps in the dish and one which was much bigger was there on the top… Unfortunately that one bigger fried shrimp was so overcooked that it was too dry and too tough to chew… But all the tiny shrimps in the dish were cooked perfectly… If I am not entirely mistaken, I felt a subtle hint of Shrimp paste as well in the noodles, but the problem was that the sauce usage ended up overpowering pretty much everything else and so I am unable to to be 100% sure about the Shrimp Paste usage… The rest of the ingredients ie, the vegetables were all nice and fresh and retained their crunchiness which worked great with the noodles… I only wish that the amount of sauce used in this dish was lesser or that they used a homemade sauce (cause the dish had the very strong taste of those preservative chemicals that you can taste in factory made sauces) so that the overpowering could’ve been avoided…

Next lets talk about the Butter Fish Grilled… Because of the wording in the name, both me and my friend ended up expecting sort of a European style grilled fish, ie, you know the classic garlic, butter and thyme combination… However, turns out its a fish called Punnarameen which is called Butter Fish in English and so, the dish is basically half butterfly cut of that fish grilled using masala made with local spices… So, essentially this was no different from any of the other “Tawa Grilled Fish” options available in any other place in Kerala… So, a mix of a bit of surprise and disappointment especially since I was hoping for the fish to be a good accompaniment to the noodles… But sadly, it was not as this was one fusion of flavours that cannot work in my opinion… Individually though, I think its a fine dish… The fish was clearly fresh and cooked perfectly leaving the flesh to be so succulent that you really don’t need teeth to eat this fish… Of-course some bones were still in there especially the pin bones and half of the head itself… So, best to be careful too… Regarding the taste of the masala, thats where my only complaint comes in… I felt that the amount of masala they used was simply too much for this fish, especially the use of that Coriander Powder, which ended up almost completely overpowering everything else that I ended up having to rub off as much of the masala as I could to be able to taste the fish… Had that use of the spices been lesser and balanced, this would’ve been the best Kerala style Tawa Grilled Fish that I have ever had… Of-course nothing needs to be said about the fresh salad that accompanied the Fish… The Orange was a nice idea though, again would’ve worked if the masala was not too overpowering…

Thats it for now… Definitely an interesting and a bit informative lunch… If you ask me if things could’ve been better, I would agree and hope that it would be when I visit again… Definitely keeping fingers crossed on that one… 🙂

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