This little Aluva-based cafe serves unusual short eats like peri-peri egg tapos

Over the years, Kochi has developed into a city with two cafe cultures. 

Anoop Menon Published :  08th June 2018 07:00 AM   |   Published :   |  08th June 2018 07:00 AM

Double beef burger

Over the years, Kochi has developed into a city with two café cultures. While the Panampilly Nagar-Kakkanad crowd likes to lounge around after a cuppa, catch up with friends, and maybe log into the Wi-Fi to wrap up work; the rest of the city doesn’t follow suit.

This is most evident when one visits café’s in Aluva—where (young and old) foodies prefer to eat, pay, and leave. We first noticed this while hitting up other popular fast-casual spots in the area like Cusiny and Pulp Route.Now, another 19-cover quick-service outlet called Lettuce is tapping into this trend and wound up on our radar.

Too many pies
We admit, given the current cycle of the daily downpour, commuting to Government Hospital Junction is a bit of a wet affair. But, a piping hot serving of their egg tapos turns out to be an instant ‘pick-me-up’ snack. The near-perfect finger food—boiled masala egg that’s batter-dipped, broasted, and drowned in a housemade peri-peri sauce—is popular across street-side shacks in Mangalore.

Soon, a restauranteur and engineer walks into the minimally-furnished restaurant. We’re kidding, it’s just owner Sahaj Sajeev! While we slurp down on a thick watermelon-strawberry smoothie, the 24-year-old civil engineer tells us that he took a year off from working in Karnataka to make an impact in the F&B industry. He currently owns and operates another Aluva-based spot called Foodie Chinese Restaurant as well. Did we mention that Sahaj also runs an interior designing company? 

Wrap it up
Next up, we try a couple of other signature dishes, most of which feature a leafy iceberg lettuce in some shape/form, including a classic rosso lapio and double-beef burger. The value-for-money lapio, which Sahaj claims is what the Welsh call a wrap, features a freshly-made romali roti, cheddar cheese, and delicious Syriani chicken curry. Skip the pan-fried dumplings, as we believe the chef hasn’t got the flour ratio right, which leaves the momos with an undesirable chewy texture. Opt for the chicken-on-top fries with gooey cheese instead.

“The response from our patrons have been fantastic so far. Currently, we’re in the process of opening a new franchise outlet in Kakkanad,” states Sahaj. Do not miss sampling the well-constructed beef burgers at Lettuce. The buns are a bit on the sweet and crumbly side, however, their thyme and oregano-infused fried beef patty alone is worth the long haul on the metro. So if you’re heading to Aluva, pencil in a stopover for a quick bite at this unassuming café.

At Government Hospital Junction.
Open from 12 noon to 11 pm.