For the Restaurants

I have had a long history with the restaurants of my favourite towns, and I had already written about those five towns already. The restaurants at Aluva, Perumbavoor, Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalam and Angamaly have been part of my life for quite a long time because they are part of the routes which I have traveled a lot. Yes, a good number of restaurants around the city of Cochin also got a big part to play in the same. Throughout my life, I have loved many restaurants and decided not to visit a few ever.

I have rarely hated any of the restaurants because I have always found one interesting item in one form or the other. Most of my favourite restaurants were vegetarian, with only a few exceptions in each town. I have already written about how much of an integral part of my life, Indian Coffee House has been. But talking about the restaurants, or at least most of them, there are a few things which I would like to see atΒ all of them. I am sharing them here.

Try providing only the needed amount of curry: When there is only one person having food, I am surprised that there is so much of the curry being provided whether it is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. When I go outside with friends, if we are only two, we share one curry with the rice, Chappathi, Porotta, Appam or whatever we are having. This is the reason why I have some Dosa, Idli or Biriyani items which don’t require separate curry when I am alone. I am sure that I won’t be able to finish one full curry, but the restaurants can have the option of providing half-curry or sometimes even quarter-curry?

There Dal Fry which you see is usually enough for me and my friend :)

The Dal Fry which you see here with the roti is usually enough for me and my friend πŸ™‚

Try not to make random assumptions: I have seen that many non-vegetarian restaurants bring Chicken Noodles, Chicken Fried Rice or Chicken Biriyani whenever we ask for Noodles, Fried Rice or Biriyani. This has happened to me on a number of occasions. There was a time when I had to chase the waiter to tell him that I actually meant Vegetable Biriyani only. This is really not fair. You can’t make me eat non-vegetarian just because the restaurant is non-vegetarian. I might have chosen this restaurant because of its location or due to the fact that someone who is with me wants to have non-vegetarian, and it needn’t be even chicken – it can be fish, mutton or anything else.

Make tea available at all times: Having anything cold might not be the right thing to do at all times, and so I would like to say, let there be tea! Yes, it has to be there all the time, from the moment the restaurant opens to the time when it closes. It has been a nice feature of restaurant chains like Indian Coffee House, but a lot of restaurants have failed to keep that property even as some combinations of bakeries and restaurants do manage the same. As the common man’s drink, tea should be available at all times, and at the cheapest possible price; it is rather a necessity.

Dosa means enough free sambhar, and tea at any time makes it better.

Dosa means enough free sambar, and tea at any time makes the situation a lot better.

Don’t hesitate to bring us the menu: Yes, please do bring that because even if you talk about what all are available in slower pace than that usual high-speed talk, we might not be able to follow that exactly as it is supposed to be. We might end up hearing something else, or may be you will just forget one name, and we won’t get that thing which we really want to have. It is really a loss on both sides, and lets keep things clear with the menu. Knowing the prices of all those things will also help. May be there can be a huge menu board on the wall like we usually see at the branches of Indian Coffee House – they are very useful.

Do have the restrooms for customers: Yes, this is very significant because when we are on the long drives, the presence of the same will only help to make sure that the customers make the visit. I have rarely been interested in visiting a restaurant without them, and hasn’t added them to my list of favourite restaurants. It is better to have them outside the restaurant too, or at least on the other side, quite far away from the kitchen. Some restaurants are really careful about the same, like the Carnival Food Court near Angamaly which maintains the cleanliness really well.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me only.

TeNy

Aluvaite Food Memories

After spending about fifteen years as an Aluvaite, there have been a number of hang-out places which have been among our favourites. Here are ten of them at Aluva (Alwaye) which were frequently visited by us. The status remains as of the last year of leaving the place. The choices haven’t changed much, but a number of new locations were added to the list. Here are the Aluvaite food memories πŸ˜€

1. Anna Gowri Restaurant: The Vegetarian side of the Mahnami Heritage Hotel has been our favourite choice for Masala Dosa for years, a practice which we started with a cup of tea a few days after its inauguration. It is close to two churches, and therefore it is easier to go for the mass and have food from there. There is also a lot of parking space even as the place is in the centre of the town. The rates are also good, and the location is quite beautiful. (http://www.mahnamihotels.in)

Mahnami and Anna-Gowri Restaurant at Aluva - on a rainy day.

Mahnami and Anna-Gowri Restaurants at Aluva – on a nice rainy day of Masala Dosa.

2. Surya Restaurant: We have always been big fans of this restaurant, and this has been our first choice for non-vegetarian food anyday, and the best place for any kind of treat or random get-together. What we had here was always Chilli Beef though, and the list of people whom I have introduced to that awesome curry are rather uncountable. It is always Ghee Rice/Fried Rice/Porotta/Chappathi with Chilli Beef with Gravy. This might be a little bit expensive for some, but totally worth it due to the taste.

3. Navya Bake Shop: Even as this place came late, it has often made one wonder why this was not at Aluva for such a long time. Aluvaites needed a bakery which made no compromise in taste, and finally it has been delivered (there was already an existence outside the town though). There are some incredibly awesome cakes available here, and this also my first choice for Puffs and Cutlet anywhere near Aluva; as Ceecee is to Angamaly. (http://www.navyabakers.com)

A shot of one side of the town from the top - the building-greenery combination ;)

A shot of the less crowded side of town from the top – the building-greenery combination πŸ˜‰

4. Indian Coffee House: This is a place which needs no introduction. It is the biggest and the most trust-worthy restaurant chain in Kerala, and even as the branch at Aluva has got no car parking, we can always adjust. It is near the railway station as well as the KSRTC bus station which means easy access. Go through Aluva’s Sub Jail Road for this one. The best thing is that Poori Masala an tea are available throughout the day, and the cutlets here are speciality, especially the vegetarian one. (http://indiancoffeehouse.com)

5. Shenoy’s Restaurant: This is my most visited place for food, and I have known this place since school days. Located between the Pulinchode Junction and the Aluva Market, this restaurant has been part of my life, and the one place from where I had more food than most of the other places. It had a major role in improving my interest in Ghee Roast as well as Paneer Butter Masala. The best title should be “my first favourite vegetarian restaurant ever”.

6. Cho-Chote: This is the place where I had my first milk shake, and as far as I can remember, it was Strawberry flavour. It has remained a popular shake destination for years, and especially when we were thinking about some ideas for some random skit, we would have a shake, especially when the quota of tea gets over. There was so much of choice available here, and this one which was opposite the Saint Xavier’s College remained the first option for the same.

Every thought about Aluva takes you back the River Periyar for no reason :D

Every thought about Aluva town takes you back to the River Periyar for no reason πŸ˜€

7 + 8. Annalakshmi Restaurant and Kammath’s Inn: These remain parts of my food extravaganza related to the Union Christian College. Even as the former started later, the extension of the time at the college was there to be taken. Both these vegetarian restaurants had me interested in the Onion Oothappam and the Ghee Roast respectively. The Vegetable Biriyani was strong at both places too.

9 + 10. Annapoorna Restaurant and Grand Restaurant: These are two of the earliest restaurants I have known at Aluva. Here, the first one is vegetarian and the second non-vegetarian. The former has me always choosing Poori Masala an the latter has me going for the Beef Biriyani or Chicken Biriyani both being very good there. These two used to be the typical vegetarian and non-vegetarian restaurants choice for a long time.

A few special mentions are also needed for the special tea and marble cake at Home Bakers, the nice milk shake at Aluva Bake House, fine idiyappam at Al-Falah Restaurant, that Ghee Roast at Swami’s Restaurant, fruit shake time at MKS and the first few days at the KR Bakers. There are also a number of my favourite restaurants and bakeries which did close down, including Taal Restaurant, Thompson Bakery and Surabhi Restaurant. I am writing this blog post when I am very hungry, thank You πŸ˜€ All photos used here are mine as usual πŸ˜‰

TeNy