Where fish, meat, avial, puttu and tapioca set the hunger pangs to rest

It's crunchy outside, moist and soft inside. So when you sink your teeth on the chunk on the Naimeen fry (sear fish) with a dash of that indigenous red chutney, you know you are literally biting into a slice of heaven. That is only if you are a non-vegetarian.

According to an Irish Proverb: Laughter is brightest where food is best. And rightfully so, this five month old restaurant—Kerala Kitchen (KK) is buzzing with people chatting and laughing over foods to suit their moods.

Kerala Kitchen is a fine dining restaurant in Kondapur and besides the food everything about the place is a Kerala. Right from the décor to the thick brass metal long spouted jugs to the people who serve you, everyone and everything is ‘maid in Kerala.'

So where does one bring from. Kadingali-the traditional refreshing jeera water is a good option which also serves as an appetiser, well, it did for me.

The options are many is fishes are swimming in your head. They serve pearl spot, mackerel, seer, cod et al with a guarantee of freshness. And the size of the pieces is over whelming even though the staff describes it as ‘a small piece.' The other varities in fish are fish mappas, Karimeen (pearl spot) Pollichathu and Karimeen fry.

Another reason why one would want to eat at Kerala Kitchen is, no one hovering over your head with ‘can I take your order.' The place provides ample time to the diners or even waits for the signal ‘we are ready to order signal.' Traditional music is played in the background which literally drowns in the loud chatter of the crowds.

For the moment the restaurant has a modest menu with everything you can think of eating in a traditional Kerala joint. If new to Kerala cuisine, help is at hand with the smiling staff ready to advice you depending on your preference.

A must-have is the appam. They serve two types of appams here, plain and kallappam. Nothing goes better than the stew (chicken) with appams and if you thought it is only ice cream that melts in your mouth, then try these. The stew is a perfect blend of crème and sweet with the occasional dry fruits (which is used for garnishing) in some bites.

Next to be tried is the Puttu. Made of chamba and coarsely grated coconut, this was served with the Kadala curry, vegetarians will love this one. And non vegetarians can ask for the kollam styled fish curry. It is a heady spicy red curry made with the umbrella tamarind. It is minutely bitter, sour and spicy and all of it is because of the tamarind. Another melting moment here is the parota. With this one all you need to do is say spicy, dry or roast and the parota will be served red meat according of your choice. Certain dishes and items which are very typical of Kerala cuisine is missing on the menu, but not if you ask for it. The place also serves duck.

Finally, our staple biryani has a competition. Kerala biryani or the kalam biriyani is here. Those you didn't appreciate the spice and the absence of sweet in the Hyderabadi biryani, Kerala biryani at KK is here to meet those demands. The sweet biryani is a good break which is served with a sweet date pickle, a hat mango pickle and some raita. With two separate kitchens for veg and non-veg cooking there is no reason why ‘pure vegetarians' can frequent this place.

KK isn't only about these, they also have the ‘traditional meals.'

Kerala Kitchen

Where: Kondapur

What: everything Kerala, especially fishes and meals

When: Lunch and dinner

Table for two: Rs 600 approx

Valet: Available

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