Fort Kochi’s new restaurant serves excellent seafood dishes like grilled lobster
Fort Kochi is so overloaded with fancy cafés that it’s actually a pain to spot a decent standalone restaurant. I hadn’t noticed this fact until an excited friend pointed out the month-old Malabar Grill located near Kokers Theatre in Amaravathi.
As we return to try what’s exceptional at the spacious 140-cover outlet, we find out that the name is quite misleading. “Kochi is a tourist hotspot, yet it has a population who love eating out. Our menu has been designed, keeping everyone in mind, with inspiration drawn from cuisines from around the world,” says chef Abdul Jalal.
Sure enough, the card is divided into various sections with each featuring cuisines and dishes like Arabian madfoon, Italian penne pasta, and Malabari neychoru.
We set ourselves down in the warmly decorated outlet as the chef starts serving his magic with a seafood soup.
“The idea is to use local and fresh ingredients, especially seafood, with preparation styles inspired by other cuisines. We’ve also included naadan delicacies like meen molee,” says the fifty-something-year-old.
As the conversation drives on, we realise that he is no ‘small fish’ as he returned to Kerala after leaving behind the position as the executive chef of properties like Ramada (Goa) to be with his family.
His 30 years of experience in the industry shows in the presentation of the next dish; a shrimp cocktail, creatively served in a coconut shell. Slightly sour from the cocktail sauce, this recipe of boiled prawns, laden with veggies and made thick with tender coconut, is a new experience.
To everyone who loves surf-and-turf, I’d definitely suggest their seafood salad. Rightly peppered up, this one is a crisply grilled assortment including crab, squid, clams and fish, blended with colourful bell peppers and iceberg lettuce and a lemon dressing.
Having consumed enough marine elements for a week, we decide to explore their other options. A dish that catches our eye is the stroganoff, a Russian dish with sautéed beef blended with mushroom, demi-glace sauce and sour cream.
On the slightly salty side, the dish smoothens out its flavours when paired with buttered rice. “We also have a banquet hall that can fit over 500 people,” informs Abdul, as we try the cream caramel that has a silky texture and just the right amount of sweetness.
Meal for two `500 onwards