Kutty dosa found a place in the heart of Malayalis after the 2011 flick Salt ‘N’ Pepper. I am reminded of this as we are welcomed into the seemingly small outlet called Malabar Canteen with a kutty chai. Located right outside Kaloor bus stand, the two-floored 44-cover outlet looks like any other ‘off-the-curb’ eatery.
To get in there you’ve to walk the narrow aisle between porotta stones and through the tempting aromatic steam emanating from them. “When you’re set close to a place with so much footfall you’ve to plan everything from naming the outlet and the dishes served according to the space design and price point,” says Azhar Seyad, who co-owns the place with Nijad Babu Thomas.
As he smiles coyly, we come to terms with the North Kerala reference in the name used to pull in crowds for the naadan lunch. However, we are here for the Tamil Nadu special dishes like Madurai bun porotta and kothu chicken.
Dig right in
Without wasting time, we start with their bun porotta. The layers on this smaller version of Kerala’s popular dish makes it fluffier and easily tearable than the usual ‘elastic’ version. “We did not want to compromise on the taste, so we brought in the stone they use in places like Madurai and roped in a couple of chefs from the region,” informs the 30-year-old, as we pair the dish with special beef chukka (eggs scrambled and mixed with roasted red meat).
If you convince your friends to get out at night to grab some street food, don’t forget to try their ting tong egg (a melt-in-the-mouth gooey treat loaded with shredded chicken) and veechu porotta (rectangular rotis stuffed with chicken and egg).
Open from 11.30 am to 11.30 pm.