Whether it be a Tamil Nadu-style biriyani at 3am, porotta and Vizhinjam chicken fry, a plate of kappa biriyani or irachi choru, or shawarma, rolls and burgers with shakes, juice, tea and coffee, Kazhakkoottam awaits gourmands, day in and out.
It is no surprise that the Kerala government has included Lulu Mall-Kazhakkoottam [Technopark] stretch as one of the corridors for its proposed nightlife project. The NH66 bypass and service roads are teeming with food spots, big and small. Except for a few places that close at 11pm, the rest are open till 1am or even 3am.
It is not just the IT workforce in Technopark and the nearby campuses of Infosys, UST and TCS that throng the eateries. “On weekends, we have people coming in from the city in large numbers. Nearly 60% of the customers fall into that category,” says Sarith Shershah, owner of Turf Café, famous for its coffee, burgers, shakes, and various continental delicacies. Kiran V, an IT professional, adds: “The service road, especially the one from near Kulathoor to Technopark Phase III gate, has become a food street. Although COVID-19 forced many to shut shop, new eateries have sprung up after the lockdown.”
The most-talked-about spot these days is Saranyaa Mess on Attinkuzhy Road, where biriyanis are available from 3am to 11.30pm. It is the dream project of Salem-based Saranya, who works with an MNC in Technopark. “My parents were in this field long ago. When I came to Thiruvananthapuram five years ago, I missed out on a place where I could have a heavy meal after my night shift, like the joints in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, where I used to work earlier. Biriyani was the best option for me. It was meant mainly for those who work the night shifts.”
To her surprise, customers began arriving at her restaurant from the city too. “Social media gave us so much publicity that there were days when people used to queue up by 2.30am,” says Saranya.
The 50-seater, non-descript place on the first floor has 21 staff working in different shifts from 1am to keep the kitchen running, she says. While biriyanis (chicken and mutton) are served throughout the day, the mess also has dosas, idli and kothu porotta among other dishes. On weekends, there is ‘Salem kari virunthu’, a non-vegetarian platter with over 20 items, including chicken and mutton biriyani, curries, fish delicacies etc. It has to be pre-booked though since only 50 of them will be served.
Thiruvananthapuram’s first premium resto bar— BLND, came up on this stretch last year. The ambience, music, food, and, of course, the cocktails and mocktails have made it one of the hotspots to hang out. The menu is an eclectic mix of ethnic and global flavours – fish moilee, Quilon beef roast, mutton coconut fry, noodle rolls, beef bulgogi, steaks, pastas and wraps.
Opposite Technopark Phase I main gate are seven restaurants under one roof owned by entrepreneurs Sinoj Malathi and Brijith Sasidharan. They run The Great Cana, which serves South Indian cuisine, and Dil Dosti Dosa, a space for dosa lovers, in addition to franchises of five culinary brands. Instacuisino is a multi-cuisine place with momos, nachos, pasta, pizza, burgers...; Fruktville has waffles, ice creams, shakes, smoothies; Beirut Doner is all about kebabs, doner, wraps and shawarmas; Rang de Kesar has an elaborate North Indian menu and Andaze Biryani is all about biriyani varieties such as Moradabadi, Malabari, Hyderabadi, Lucknowi etc.
Bro.co is well known for their soft, coin porotta and chicken fry, which they have named Vizhinjam chicken fry. By the way, Bro.co stands for Brottayum Kozhiporichathum. The place is open till 3am.
The cozy Chayakappal, open till 3am on the service road near Mukkolakkal junction, is another favourite. “We opened this as a space for the IT crowd to unwind with music, food and art,” says Nikitha T P, who manages it with Thalhath N S. Irachi choru, kappa biriyani, vareities of puttu , black tea and many kinds of milk tea, and dosas... are on the menu. “Our chicken biriyani has banana and pineapple slices as the sides, along with pappadam and salad,” she adds.
Upscale dine-in places are also crowd-pullers on this stretch. Business is picking up after a lull, says Mahesh Kumar, who runs Madison Street, which boasts dishes from the world over. “Here, the food is cooked to order. On weekends, there are breakfast platters – Polish, American, English, Monster and breakfast combo (bacon ham, salami, sausage, fried eggs, mushroom, baked beans, waffles…),” says Mahesh. Dishes like beef wellington and chicken franchise are exclusive to the place.
Terrace by Mekkawao, a swanky, spacious spot on the seventh floor of Asiatic Business Centre, is that space to ‘eat, play, drink’ while having a spectacular view of the moving traffic along the bypass and Technopark. 40 Feet is another head-turner with its quaint outdoor seating amidst the greenery, especially those corner seats and cutting edge decor (don’t miss out on that incredible Instagram-worthy wall art), and the food.
Pondis Pizza Hub, Bikash Babu, Supreme, Ovenly, Bao Tao, Ambrosia, Zam Zam, KFC, Dominos, Café Coffee Day, Bait Al Mandi… the list is endless and so are the food choices. Bon appetit!