Gourmets in Technopark for whom travel is also about food

Vietnamese food

Vietnamese food   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

They do not mind going the extra mile for that special treat

Sarath Ramesh travelled all the way to Alappuzha to tuck into puttu and kadala curry at Brothers restaurant there. “It is a mere three hours drive! On the way back, I had chicken fry and porotta from Vazhiyorakkada at Kilimanoor,” he says.

Sarath Ramesh

Sarath Ramesh   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

When a craving for biriyani struck him, he took off to Kozhikode with three other friends to feast on beef biriyani at Hotel Rahmath after a sumptuous breakfast at Hotel Paragon. And that’s not all. Last month, he and his friends went on a two-week trip to Vietnam to explore the cuisine there. “All we did was eat and click pictures. Thankfully, no one had an upset stomach,” he adds.

Sarath is one among the many Technopark employees for whom travel is also about food. Such trips, usually in groups, are scheduled on weekends. Some of their favourite spots include Krishna Hotel at Kattachalkuzhi near Balaramapuram, Ustad Hotel at Vizhinjam, toddy shops at Velliyazhchakavu en route to Varkala and Punchakkari in Vellayani, Bismi at Balaramapuram and Rajila at Vizhinjam.

Hunt for food destinations

Most of them also hit the road in search of food destinations outside the city. Najeeb Raffic, for instance, went on a drive to Athirappally with three of his friends. “Although it was not meant to be a food trip, we squeezed in some popular eateries in our itinerary,” he says.

Najeeb Raffic

Najeeb Raffic   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

In Kollam, they had a stopover at Fayalwan Hotel, famous for its appam and egg roast with “heavenly gravy,” Kallukada, where you get “Kallusoda lime and milk sarbath” and Ezhuthanikada, famous for its “porotta-mutton combo and vettucake.” They also checked out Madhuchettante Kada, an eatery at Cherthala, a haven for seafood lovers.

Seafood at Madhuchettante Kada at Cherthala

Seafood at Madhuchettante Kada at Cherthala   | Photo Credit: Najeeb Raffic

In Kochi, they had a halt to try avocado milkshake at Rinoos Coolbar in Mattanchery and different dosas at Pai Brothers. “And if you happen to be at Athirappally, do check out Vasuvettante Kada, where you get grand non-vegetarian fare,” Najeeb advises. As for the food joints in and around the city, he and his friends recently chanced upon a thattukada at Vellarada. “Having covered almost all the sought-after food joints, this was a new experience. Among the specials on the menu were rabbit roast and crispy Kerala porotta,” he says.

Amruthaprasad, who calls himself a “true-blue” Kozhikode native, says: “My friends from Kozhikode and I set aside our weekends for culinary expeditions. We regularly ride to places such as Kovalam, Vizhinjam and Varkala, that too in the evenings. In Kovalam, we have our favourite thattukada joints. Darjeeling Cafe at Varkala is also a favourite destination,” says Prasad.

Anoop PK (left) and Amruthaprasad

Anoop PK (left) and Amruthaprasad   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

He also looks forward to his bike ride home with his friend and colleague, Anoop PK. “The journey takes nearly nine hours and the best takeaway from those trips are the kinds of food we taste in different districts. If we are travelling at night, we stop at a thattukada near Harippad, where we get tasty egg burji, hot porottas, dosas and chicken. On our way back, we make it a point to have breakfast at this vegetarian restaurant near Kottakkal, where they serve scrumptious masala dosas,” he says. However, he sorely misses the Kozhikodan touch in biriyanis in the city. “I am always on the lookout for a good lunch as well,” he adds. He also recalls a trip to Thenkasi where they came across a tweaked version of kothu porotta. “The best part about that trip was that we had excellent tea from various roadside shops!” he laughs.

Liz Ann and her husband, Nithin Vettom

Liz Ann and her husband, Nithin Vettom   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

In the case of Liz Ann and her husband, Nithin Vettom, the problem is that while Liz is a “hardcore non-vegetarian”, Nithin is a pure vegetarian. “So we plan our outings accordingly. We have some thattukadas that both of us are comfortable with and we also try out dosas, especially while going by road to my home in Kochi,” she says. But one trip that turned out to be a great culinary experience for both of them was the one to Leh. “We covered Delhi-Jammu distance on our bike and en route we stopped at several dhabas to relish authentic North Indian food. In Ladakh, we had this special bread and dal,” says Liz.

Savita Gurunath Naik, meanwhile, loves seafood, especially because she is from Goa. “Beach-side restaurants at Kovalam top my list. Having lived in Kovalam for some time, I keep going there, especially to Coconut Grove, where I enjoy the kingfish and crabs. Whenever I get together with cousins, I ensure that they try good food and that invariably ends up at Kovalam,” she says.

Savita Gurunath Naik

Savita Gurunath Naik   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

What’s it with combining food and travel? “The culture and heritage of a place are linked to the food habits as well. That makes it a wholesome package,” points out Najeeb, who plans to explore the food in Kannur, Thalassery and Kasaragod one day. Sarath, always on the lookout for new options, can’t wait to try UBM Namma Veedu Sappadu in Erode, which serves unlimited lunch with 20-plus non-vegetarian dishes.

Most of these foodies have a database of must-try signature dishes, thanks to social media. “So the risk factor doesn’t apply. We go by the opinion of the majority,” Najeeb adds.

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Printable version | Jun 30, 2020 2:39:20 AM |

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