Tellicherry Kitchen uses French culinary techniques to cook Malabari food
As seasoned gourmands point out, sometimes, great waiting staff is all it takes to elevate eating to dining. The crew at Tellicherry Kitchen, a popular spot for authentic Kerala food, are proud of their non-alcoholic beverage options and whoever’s whipping up these best drinks, deserves a raise. Unlike most restaurants, mocktails served here aren’t an afterthought. My colleague and I decided to check out this casual diner, situated at Kathrikkadav Junction on Kaloor-Kadavanthara Road, as we heard they’ve revamped their interiors and rebranded themselves as a haven for best Kerala food.
Once there I quietly strut around, a salt-rimmed passion fruit mojito in-hand, exploring the 140-cover eatery spread across two floors before picking up a menu. To our delight, there’s more on offer than just a fancy paint-job—owners P K Shefi, Zenil Cheriyath, and Mihraz Ebrahim have launched a completely distinct establishment. “We didn’t just flip the name from the old Kitchen Tellicherry to Tellicherry Kitchen, every aspect from the management to the menu is new,” begins Zenil.
Sirens of the sea
You can tell a lot about a chef from the way he/she flaunts the ingredients. So when executive chef Mujeeb Kulakkattil serves us a platter of crisp spinach tempura, a street-side snack popular in South East Asia, we know we’re in for an interesting gastronomic experience. However, I’m uncertain how many patrons would dish out `180 for such a light snack and watered-down honey-chilli sauce. Nevertheless, if like most Malayalis seafood is your Kryptonite, try the shell-on (French-style) tiger prawns in a creamy Thai-herbs marination or their flaky kanthari fish. Both the dishes are a testament to a great balance of flavours and colour.
Mujeeb is a classically-trained chef who has been honing his skills in the UAE for over 17 years, a chunk of which was spent at the uber-popular Paragon restaurant in Dubai. This influence shows through in his cooking style as this menu also features signatures like Pandan chicken and elaneer payasam. “Yes, the influence is undeniable. Yet, despite turning our kitchen, during its pre-opening phase, into a massive food-prep area during the horrific Kerala floods, we did find time to fine-tune our menu’s various courses,” states the chef, urging us to sample his kappa-chicken-chammanthi, piquant beef koorka (Chinese potato) with spinach-infused wheat paratha, and delectable bamboo biryani (videos of which went viral on Instagram). Notwithstanding any of this, I may just go back for the hassle-free valet parking and exceptional mocktails.
Open from 11 am to 11 pm.