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The best restaurant for a meal from the central belt of Kerala (predominantly Christian, so there is a plenty of seafood and meats like duck, beef and pork) is undoubtedly Mahabelly, the brainchild of two young men who hail from Kottayam. The restaurant serves the food of the toddy shop in Kerala. Do not miss the Shaapu Meen Curry – very spicy, with the unmistakable tang of fish tamarind. Even simple vegetable dishes like pea masala are done to perfection.
Kerala’s toddy shops are really famous in that state: one section serves toddy and the other serves hot, spicy, fried food that makes you feel thirsty and order another round of toddy! The deceptively simple interiors of The Toddy Shop in Hauz Khas Village cannot be compared to the bare bones, dhaba-like interiors of a toddy shop in Kerala. The chef is from Kerala ensures that every dish from 12 noon to 4 pm is spot-on authentic. The Erachi Fry is outstanding; the food has a home-style bias.
Amreli in Hotel Diplomat is the last place where you would come looking for a true blue Kerala meal, but if you concentrate on the food, the Beans Poriyal, Meen Moillee and Egg Appam will transport you to God’s Own Country.
Moets Coco Palm serves the food of all southern states, but their specialty lies in Kerala cuisine, because that is where their cooks are from. Do not miss their appam with chicken or vegetable stew and Malabar prawn curry which constitute comfort food from Kerala.
Dakshin is the only hotel to have a restaurant serving the food of all four southern states, and being in an ITC hotel, it has the bells and whistles associated with a grand evening (or indeed afternoon). If you have to take guests from overseas for a coastal/seafood meal, there is no better choice than this dowager with piped Carnatic music and tinned brass thalis.
Appearing incognito is The Phantom's style, so we are keeping this identity under wraps. What we can tell you is that this is one food critic that has earned the respect of restaurateurs and foodies alike. With an astute palate and an adventurous spirit, the Phantom Critic has more than 20 years of experience writing about food and reviewing restaurants