Residence-turned-restaurant Spice Villa offers multi-cuisine dining in a spacious setting
Without a doubt, Panampilly Nagar is now one of Kochi’s most popular gastronomical destinations. The diversity of cuisine available at this hotspot, ranging from Indo-Chinese to Italian, is also worth noting. But, most of the outlets are crammed to capacity and hardly offer any privacy for diners.
So, next time you’re in the area, head directly to the far end of the famous street. From there, a few name boards will guide you to Koithara Road’s Spice Villa, a two-month-old multi-cuisine eatery offering naadan and Continental delicacies. However, the highlight is the space; a homely ambience that nothing but a residence-turned-restaurant can offer.
“In most other diners, creating a great dining area takes a back seat as owners try to deck the place up with paraphernalia. What we offer is a peaceful experience with your family, where people won’t breathe down your neck to take your seat next,” says owner Harikrishnan P K, as we sip on cinnamon tea.
The bedrooms in the two-storied building have been converted into private dining areas and altogether make a 75-cover establishment. One of these has been turned into a banquet hall with a video projector and a PA system that can accommodate up to 30 patrons.
We settle down on a table near a depression in the floor which used to be a fish pool, now turned into a sitting area, as chef Haridas T R suggests we try their signatures. “I’ve designed the menu alongside restauranteur's wife Binu Krishna, who’s a dietician and an ardent cook,” says Haridas, as we try a dry beef Payyoli topped with deep-fried onions and spices.
Everyone has had the Kerala special karimeen wrapped in a banana leaf, but the special here is vegetables pollichathu. The vibrant assortment includes mushroom, paneer, and baby corn among others and comes as a thick, tangy coagulation, that’d make it a good combo with rotis.
Mix it up
The rare fruit naturally has a charm and this is very true in the case of finding pork on any menu. We order a rib and when the platter arrives it has an intimidatingly large cut, completely covered in brown sauce alongside a herby mashed potato. I decide to return to Indian-style preparations as they seem to be the chef’s forte.
“Our dinner service includes complimentary starters which can be anything from crispy brinjal to vegetable balls,” as we try a chemmeen kizhi. An interesting blend of coconut milk and tomato paste, the dish finishes off on the palate with a peppery spiciness. Although I would’ve liked some kappa with the dish, we just end the meal with an assorted ice cream.
From 11 am to 11 pm