While some dishes are mouth-watering, there are others that are eye-wateringly spicy

As soon as one steps into Tharavadu Family Restaurant, one is assaulted by the delicious aroma of masala cooking in the pot and a vague scent of seafood — all reminiscent of the scents of a typical Kerala kitchen.

The simple, but quaint wooden tables and comfy couches, the Ravi Varma paintings, the frangipani at the entrance and the numerous cane lamps hanging from the ceiling on thick ropes, form the décor of the eatery.

The aquarium, filled with starfish placed right at the entrance, fascinates most of the customers.

Once seated, the customer is greeted with a wide-toothed grin and is given a lota of the Kerala Special ayurvedic water, which is, basically, water boiled with a bit of jeera and a few herbs. It kindles the palate and is very refreshing.

The restaurant has an exhaustive menu comprising of both north Indian and Kerala dishes.

I opted for the most popular item on the menu — the Kerala Meal.

It arrived in a matter of minutes, and looked mouth- watering. But, a couple of the dishes were also eye-wateringly spicy! It contained the usual fare — rasam, sambar, payasam, fish curry, kaalan (a mixed vegetable stew), boiled rice and papadam, served on a banana leaf placed over a steel plate.

The presentation was both authentic and practical. The rasam and sambar though quite spicy, were delicious nonetheless.

The kaalan and the fish curry were unequivocally the best dishes of the meal. Both were cooked to perfection and tasted homely. The payasam could have been better, though.

The dishes that comprise the meal change every day. “I come here almost every week, and everything they serve is delicious,”said one excited customer. I also tried kappa served with fish curry. It is a tapioca dish, and leaves you wanting more of it. The fish was tender and had been marinated well. One cannot go to a Kerala restaurant and not try the coin parottas and the pathiri (paper-thin rice-flour pancake), both of which were excellent.

Behind the counter

The restaurant is managed by Umesh, who sits behind a counter, fashioned like a tiny Kerala-style house.

“Ever since this place opened six years ago, we have been very popular with the local Keralites and north Indians alike,” he says. The extremely reasonable price and the peaceful ambience draws a large crowd, especially during the weekends.

Although it might be difficult for those unfamiliar with Bommanahalli to locate the restaurant, it is definitely worth visiting for a taste of God's own cuisine.

The restaurant is located at BKL Building, Hosur Main Road, Bommanahalli.

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