Pair fusion cuisine with backwater vista at Vypin
Chef Sharun Kumar experiments with naadan ingredients like the bird’s eye chilli in his grills
Nobody would mind if their food arrives a little late at two-month old Le Martime’s rooftop restaurant. Located at Goshree Junction in Vypin, this five-star property’s 80-cover al fresco diner Galaxsea offers a breathtaking view—one where the city recedes to make way for the backwaters and the sea.
“While the hotel houses three restaurants, this marine-themed space offers an exclusive menu featuring seafood dishes from various cuisines including continental and fusion fare,” says manager Sudheesh Babu, as he hands me a fizzy guava drink. Noticing speciality dishes like Kasundi grilled prawns and coconut grilled chicken on the menu increases my enthusiasm to meet the chef in charge of the nine-floor high perch.
It’s a difficult job to impress Malayalis with contemporary takes on their cuisine, but executive chef Sharun Kumar has nearly perfected it. Have a bite of the delectable kanthari prawns that the jovial chef brings to the table and anyone would ask how he got around to experimentation.
“Whenever I travel, I explore the local restaurants that serve native tastes. This is the best way to learn more about regional flavours,” says the thirty-something-year-old, who boasts of 15 years of culinary experience including a stint at The Oberoi (New Delhi). The spicy (and dry) Kurichiar tribal chicken tossed sans oil is another example of the experiments in the kitchen.
Our menu for the day includes exotic platters too, in the form of poulet au vin—a mildly sweet chicken and vegetable dish braised in red wine. While Arabian grilled chicken will remind any Kochiite of the roadside rotisserie version, the chef serves a yogurt-based, za’atar-infused dajaj faa. “These recipes are inspired by my tenure with a Saudi-based shipping company where I was encouraged to explore more cuisines,” says Sharun.
But, there’s more of Indian flavours to be relished at this restaurant. Loaded with shallots, the beef koorka—served alongside phulka, a North Indian bread—uses baby potatoes instead of Chinese potatoes, because of seasonal availability of the tuber. Eagerly waiting to see what other influences the menu reflects, we’re served a meen pulimunchi. The Goan dish uses a local variant of tamarind for its captivating sourness, best indulged in with rice. Reluctant to say goodbye to the vista, I take my sweet time with their final serving, a chocolate brownie.
Meals for two `1,500 onwards