East India Street Cafe’s new menu brings together multiple cuisines in a contemporary approach
A little bit of fusion and some confusion. That’s chef Cinu Chandran’s funny take on the menu he designed for Panampilly Nagar-based East India Street Café. The card at the 75-cover outlet is reminiscent of a bygone era’s magazine with its rather bold font and I turn to the chef to explain the concept to me.
“Besides juices, coffee and pastries, a café should have some twist which is interesting for local connoisseurs. I’ve always had a feeling that Malayali ingredients were never highlighted in modern cuisine. So, we’ve made a humble attempt at fusion,” says Cinu, who has worked across the world including alongside UK-based chef, Raymond Blanc.
Starting from an all-day breakfast section—which cites contemporary keto recipes—the list exhibits influences from Continental and Oriental cuisines with names like filet mignon and nasi goreng. We leave the task of picking dishes to the chef and settle down in the aesthetically designed rustic space—emboldened with the wise use of diverse colours—with a thick salted caramel-dates smoothie.
Right as our quinoa-curried cauliflower salad arrives on the table, Anne Sajeev, the founder of the outlet joins us. “Everyone is focussed on enjoying a good ambience and having fun when going out to dine, but very few people notice the quality of the ingredients. Our concept is to contribute to a healthy community by ensuring the best quality raw materials sourced through our sister concern, Aroma Fresh,” says Anne.
The light and refreshing salad with bell peppers, raisins and a pesto dressing proves her point, but we’re quickly distracted by a platter of tapioca and pulled coconut beef cutlet. Underneath the crunchy crust of the cutlet is a filling possessing the naadan combination of tapioca and beef. A strong spiciness takes over my palate as I bite into it owing to the chilli chutney topping.
Being on a diet often means sweating behind your stove. But, the 38-year-old chef has you covered with a signature keto breakfast dish. Although what is brought to our spread looks like an egg benedict with its hollandaise sauce topping, we learn that this is a new recipe altogether.
Pancakes made out of coconut and almond flour are used instead of English muffins and they’ve been stuffed with braised beef. The juicy meat deserves some praise and I’d totally spend my money on this platter which is a meal in itself.
The most interesting part about the steak they serve next is the bacon and crispy potato mix that comes along with it. Now, how about a spicy sundae? I guess you’re wearing the same unconvinced expression that I had when I heard it for the first time.
The dessert bowl of ripe mangoes and coconut chips, topped with a roasted vanilla sponge and laced with crushed bird’s eye chilli makes sure that I walk out the door with a ‘food crush’ on the place.
From 11 am - 11 pm.