At a food tasting event at Zambar — The Coastal Kitchen, an array of 24 special dishes were laid out for the guests. The dishes varied from the simple preparation like that of idli and medu vada right up to some complex yet delectable desserts such as the litchi payasam and coconut jaggery pudding which were served in their authentic form and tasted just like home-cooked food.
Talking about this latest creations, Chef Arun Kumar, Cuisine and Brand Head of the restaurant said that he doesn’t believe in the concept of fusion cooking. “Food is at its best when it is in its original form and loaded with real flavours.” Chef Kumar was a journalist and a filmmaker before his love for food got the better of him. “I have always wanted to open a restaurant and so kept travelling across the world to taste everything before I actually got down to making it,” he adds.
The meal started with Parota Sticks and a mocktail after which the chef served the authentic idli and medu vada with four different chutney preparations. This was followed by dahi vada which the chef calls a ‘cleanser. The vegetarian starters included the tender mushroom pepper caps, finely seasoned batata malige (potato wedges), upma and kothu parota (malabar parota). The non-vegetarian starters included the Kochi mutton roast, the impeccable Kerela chai kada chilli chicken, masala coated backwater tawa fish and gunpowder prawns.
The cleanser that came with this was the kosambiri salad, only to prepare you for the lavish thali. The thali was a selection of curries and breads — Malabar parota and appam, served traditionally. The thali curries included the chicken ghee roast with just the right amount of ghee, sali boti, Velliapatti fish curry, charmingly unique Allepey prawn curry and snake gourd thoran for the vegetarians.
We were also treated to the traditional thair sadam or curd rice seasoned perfectly with coriander, curry leaves and chillies. The deserts were the next in line, which included the chef’s three signature deserts, rava kesai, litchi rabdi and most delectable and exquisite coconut jaggery pudding’.
The meal ended with a perfectly-brewed filter coffee.