You can categorise a restaurant/ eat-out by the variety of food items listed in its menu as Indian – North/South, Chinese, Mexican, fast food, chaat… But how do you slot a place when it can serve you juicy burgers, chicken wings, French fries, sambar rice, biriyani, dosa and cold coffee all at one go?
East and west
Desi meets delicious fast food from the west at CK's food restaurant in Pondicherry. At first glance, its interiors – looking like just another fast food joint with a red and white theme – will do nothing to raise your expectations even though it's the brainchild of a brand that's made a name for itself in the FMCG segment – Cavin Kare. But that'll soon be overridden by the tasty food served there.
Flipping through the menu, you realise that there's an astounding variety of items, not in terms of numbers but it terms of the type – there are burgers, sandwiches, south Indian tiffin varieties, meals, mixed rice, fried chicken varieties – KFC style and Indian meat preparations.
First to take its place on the table was the fusion food – Murukku sandwich – an item as simple as its name: slices of cucumber, tomato and onion along with some mint chutney sandwiched between two mini murukkus. They make for great appetizers; easy, crunchy, tasty and do not weigh down on your tummy.
Then arrived CK's speciality fried chicken, along with a juicy chicken burger, some fries and cold coffee. The speciality food was special indeed. I thought it was tasty indeed but in its own unique way. The pieces were large and meaty with fried flakes that added to the flavour. While the juicy chicken burger, which unlike the regular burgers with patty, had the actual fried chicken piece itself between the bun. The crispiness of the chicken and the softness of the bun turned out to be a good combination, not to forget the mayo and lettuce. The fries and the cold coffee were regular; nothing to speak about.
Already feeling a little stuffed, you wouldn't care to take a second look at the sambar rice. But please do. It turned out to be the best dish on the table, even though it wouldn't be fair to compare two different genres of dishes. Mildy spiced and smelling and tasting of ghee, it was like anything but the usual sambar rice. And every time you order it or any other dish for that matter, it is sure to taste the same because of the unique process that CK's kitchens follow. Every item required for the dish right from the rice grain to the oil is measured and packaged separately as wet and dry items. The wet being the vegetables and the like and the dry being the pulses and powders. You needn't be a chef to know how to cook that. All you have to do is read the Standard Operating Procedure for each dish and cook it up accordingly. That way, consistent taste and quality is assured. If you are curious about this, just ask for a tour of the kitchen.
Coming back to the food on the table, a sample of their biriyani later, the lunch was sealed with an Italian softy. There isn't much by way of dessert actually.
Overall, the lunch at CK's was a tasty experience and extremely filling. It is the perfect choice if find yourself constantly fighting with your brunch/lunch/snack/dinner group as to whether to go Indian or settle for the fancy fast food, because this place has got something for everybody's taste buds.
Watch out for the opening of their outlet in Chennai soon.
Ck's is located at: 58, Mission Street, Pondicherry. Ph: 4210010, 4200549