Flavors Unlimited with its cinema-themed interiors and menu offers tasty, affordable North Indian food

Little cubes of chicken dunked in rich gravy and wrapped in a double-layered omlette. Chicken Patiala, as the dish has been christened, is one of the signatures at Flavors Unlimited, a new restaurant at Vazhakala. It is clearly the most popular dish at the restaurant, evoking the purest feelings of appreciation as is evident from the fluorescent-coloured sticky notes on the wall.

Food and ambience

A portion of the restaurant wall has been dedicated to customers who can air their thoughts on the food and the ambience. From paeans to the Patiala to suggestions, complaints and good natured advice, the emotional outpouring is welcomed as an encouragement, says Manu Sankar Das, who co-owns the restaurant with his cousin Ramu Rajendran.

The unassuming restaurant, tucked away on the first floor of a crowded building block on the road that connects Palarivattom to Kakkanad, has lively interiors, with its walls done up in movie posters and glossy pictures from popular sitcoms. Movies and food always go down well together, feels Manu. Films are a good way to start a conversation, too, he says, pointing to a prelude on the menu, which reads: “Food and films have so much in common. From their colourful nature to the array of emotions they instil in you—laughter, tears, anger, pure bliss—they share an association.” The descriptive, rather expansive, menu covering Chinese and Indian cuisine, has a wacky design involving dialogues from all-time favourite cult movies in Malayalam, Hindi, English and Tamil and cutesy illustrations of matinee idols.

Once you have sifted through pages of the menu, which may consume time especially if you are the indecisive type, half the job is done, for service is fairly quick. The owners, who spend most of their time at the restaurant, are also willing to give you a hand with the decision making if you so desire. “We suggest dishes,” Manu says, “but we don’t impose.” The menu has carefully bypassed the staple Kerala meals. “The focus is on North Indian cuisine, as authentic north Indian dishes are hard to come by here,” Manu says. So the choices range from a variety of tikkas (vegetarian and non-vegetarian), to kebabs, tandooris to accompany different kinds of rotis and rice. The restaurant makes an attempt at preserving authentic tastes, says Manu. For instance, the stuffed methi parantha, uses fresh methi leaves, and the distinct flavour is hard to miss.

Biryani lovers need not pine. The evergreen dish is served on weekends.

All the dishes at the restaurant have been priced nominally. You could have a complete meal, starting from soup to starter, salads, main course and dessert and it will not burn a hole in your pocket. The target group being college students and professionals, over-the-roof prices would not work, the owners feel.

Plans for the restaurant are many. One of them is converting a corner of the restaurant into a café, Manu says. Flavors Unlimited does home delivery within a 5-km radius and is open to taking large (up to 100) orders. It also has a presence on online platforms such as Facebook, Google Plus, Burrp, Four Square and Just Dial. Orders can be placed through Yummybay.com.