Home food is under rated, even more so if you are staying at home. Then, you get out in to the big bad world, starve a little and make some bad food choices. It is exactly at that moment that you miss your steaming Puttu and Kadala. So here I was suffering amidst sweet sambhar and 100 different types of ‘baths’ when I found out that Ente Keralam is having a Syrian Christian festival. The heart wants what it wants so I just had to visit the restaurant.
The Ente Keralam in Clarke’s road is beautiful. They have a comfortable outdoor seating next to their garden and their indoors remind you of a traditional home in Kerala. The ambiance made me feel at home.
I quickly found a nice table next to the window and I was served the traditional banana chips and sharkara upperi. Yuss. All Malayalees know the importance of Sharkara Upperi and banana chips. As I gorged on it, I quickly browsed through their menu which was designed like a newspaper
Their menu had all the popular dishes you would find in a regular christian household in Kerala plus some information on their history.
I quickly ordered my favourite Puttu with Meen Pattichathu. For the regular people, Meen Pattichathu is a red and tangy fish preparation which is a combination red chilli and kokum. This type of fish curry is made on an earthen pot and kept aside overnight so that all the flavours get soaked in to the fish. Anything cooked an earthen pot has a very unique irresistible taste to it.
Puttu and Meen Pattichathu is not a usual combination but wow, it worked really well. The tangy flavour in the fish really went with the puttu and the fish was also perfectly cooked. I was licking my fingers by the end of it.
It would have been almost an insult if I left without trying the amazing Karimeen Fry. The fish is crisp fried on the outside and it is a specialty of christian households. I loved the masala. It was just the perfect amount, without being too over powering. The fish was cooked consistently and almost melted in my mouth.
I wanted to end my very fulfilling meal with a dessert so I tried Neyyil Varattiya Eatha Pazhavum Thengayum. For all the non malayalees, this is basically ripe banana deep fried in ghee with coconut shavings on top. This is a favourite in countless homes in Kerala including mine. This is literally heaven in a cup. The best way to end any meal. In fact, I suggest that all meals should be ended with this.
I left Ente Keralam with a smile on my face and a happy belly. It was the closest I felt to home in a very long time. I am sure that if a malayalee who has eaten this kind of food all her life loves it, everybody else will go gaga. The festival will be going on only till July 14th so what are you waiting for?
Ambiance: 3.5/5 (I loved how the restaurant was made and also their seating)
Menu: 4/5 (It was very creative to have a special menu called the ‘Ente Keralam Post’)
Service: 4/5 (Quick, friendly staff who can help you in choosing the best dishes)
Food: 4/5 (I would have licked the plates if they would have let me)
Value for Money: 3.5/5 (Slightly on the higher side but it is understandable for this cuisine)