It’s a techie life: Techies bemoan the lack of variety cuisine at Technopark and in the city

Let’s face it. Thiruvananthapuram is not exactly foodie haven. Yes, there are plenty of restaurants in the city that serve authentic Travancore and Malabar fare, and a handful of international fast food chains too that have come up of late. Near Technopark there are even a few dhaba-style hotels that purportedly serve authentic North Indian food. Inside campus there is another handful that serve “passable” North Indian fare and a couple of new ones that also have a smattering of Chinese and Thai food as part of their menu. But that’s about it. Not really an exciting choice for today’s jet-setting techie who has an international palate and who is used to dining out on American fast food fare one day, Chinese, the next, Greek, Italian, Japanese…

“I’m a foodie and I miss the variety of cuisines that I was used to while I was on assignment,” says techie Justin James, who works for an IT major. He’s just moved back to the city with his family after a seven-year stint in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. “It’s suburb of people with many ethnicities, so we used to get everything from authentic Vietnamese to Argentinean and even Ethiopian there. We used to go out and try different cuisines every weekend. My favourites were the Pho restaurants that serve Vietnamese noodle dishes. Then there were the Cuban restaurants that serve kappa! Well, a Cuban version of kappa, steamed with lemon. Thai duck roast, sushi...,” says Justin. Techie Ajay Kumar who lived in Japan for a year or so says: “Japanese food is really an acquired taste. That’s probably why I miss sushi and sashimi. Every weekend there our clients used to throw parties at some local restaurant or the other that serves Japanese cuisine. It grew on me.” Echoing the thoughts of many other fellow world travellers, he adds: “Now, even if I want to eat sushi, there is no option here.”

Then again, even if such cuisines are available within or near Technopark, the techies say that there is a problem with authenticity. “It’s just not the same,” laments Anthony Mathew, who hails from Pune. “Even with North Indian food, at least within campus, we're not getting the real deal, let alone all the other kinds of cuisines. Also, most of the so-called international food is terribly overpriced,” adds Anthony. Accessibility to the different cuisines is also a bit of an issue. A techie who works for a multi-national explains: “Tejaswini building has a fairly extensive food court with at least a bit of a choice. Compared to that at Nila, for example, where my office is, all you get is rice and curry for lunch. Most times, my colleagues end up at Leela Building’s food court or one of the dhabas outside campus. Never mind the variety of cuisine, I wish in all the buildings there were the same restaurants at least.” Food for thought?