Dine under the stars at this hotel located close to Ernakulam North railway station
The adage ‘your life is in your hands’ is literally true for most of us. We’re so engrossed in our electronic devices that our heads are bent down and we forget to look up at the sky. For this reason, I’m glad that we choose to dine at the al-fresco restaurant located atop hotel Coral Isle instead of their bar or main restaurant named Coral Reef.
I claim my ‘present’ away from my android device under a dusky sky casting shades of red and yellow on the glass-topped tables with a mai tai (white and dark rum with a touch of citrus) in my hand and the steady wind on my face.
“We’ve kept different kinds of food in our three outlets. While, the lounge bar, North18, has finger food, the main restaurant has a multi-cuisine menu with dishes ranging from kozhi mappas to squid tempura. In the rooftop restaurant, it’s more of tandoor grills and quick bites,” says manager Prince KJ, joining us for dinner.
Even though close enough to the railway station to be named Upper Berth, the fifth-floor restaurant is surprisingly serene. Chef Kishore Kumar starts serving us with a bowl of South-East Asian imperial noodle soup with fried noodle and capers potato on cilantro crust. Topped with a small scoop of tomato salsa, the latter is a set of single-bite balls with a balance of crunchy and gooey textures.
The cocktail menu is hardly adventurous, but, the mixologist seems to know his craft in striking a balance of elements. I follow up a swig of classic mojito with a bite of cheese-stuffed zucchini; a must-try sourish black bean and oyster sauce goodness. If you like your drinks the old-school style, go for their naadan platters like a prawn kizhi which leaves a wash of spiciness across the palate.
Kebabs are regulars on most Indian bar menus, but the chef with 20 years of experience in places including Abu Dhabi and Indonesia has brought in a twist. “We use a beetroot paste to marinate alongside regular ingredients like hung curd and garlic paste,” says chef Kishore, about the ‘beet’ prefix added to the tangdi kebab.
Before I indulge in more cocktails such as a cosmopolitan or a sangria, I’m served some chicken involtini. The sweetness of the caramelised onion on top only hits after the mushiness of the celery-infused mash potato.
The chef’s final touch to an impeccably impressive meal is a puff pastry-layered french dessert, mille-feuille, swathed in white chocolate.
Upper Berth operates from 6 pm - 11 pm.