This Le Cordon Bleu alumnus blends naadan and Mediterranean flavours into Malabari parottas
Before being hit by the avalanche of shawarma outlets that currently dots the city, fast food for a quintessential Kochiite meant a hot plate of parotta and beef fry. At the week-old Gangsta Wrap, chef Ashwin Chiramel is trying to revive every Malayali’s eternal love for this pairing by reinventing the recipe with a secret sauce featuring an aioli-like flavour. Having rushed into his Thevara-based outlet for a quick sneak peek on what’s cooking, I am served with a mildly sweet but refreshing mango lassi.
On a roll
At the 15-cover eatery done up with bar stools and quirky lighting, the classically-trained chef currently serves variants of wraps in seafood, meat and veggie categories. “The primary inspiration behind the recipes come from my mom and my extended family, who are all naadan cuisine experts,” explains Ashwin, who previously served as Chef de Partie at New Zeland’s Accor Group of hotels. As he serves me Veerappan Vindaloo—aptly titled after the desi gangster—a mild-yet-juicy serving of piquant beef vindaloo, topped with American cheese and pickled veggies, rolled neatly into a flaky parotta, his idea of improvisation becomes clear to me. The seafood wrap, Tommy ‘the prawn’ Accardo (brownie points for the Scarface reference), accentuates the familiar Kerala prawn curry. “It’s at our first pop-up during ‘On Flea.k Kochi’ that I realised the popularity of our wraps. At the moment, I am working on launching six other outlets in different parts of the city,” he concludes.
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