Have been Reading the wonderful Foodies Guide to IIMK in the Taste of Heaven Blog. It’s a wonderful compilation with a direct “From the Horse’s Mouth” coverage. I’ve been doing my own Food outlets discovery in this city and decided to put two of mine up too.
(A good family restaurant that is light on your pocket and a treat for your taste buds)
If you miss your the bicker & quibble-quabble of your naughty nephews/nieces as you would dine with your extended family, then look no further. A splendid family restaurant catering to local folk who more often than not turn up with their families, its a wonderful change from the aristocracies of Taj and the noise of Sea-Queen. Most importantly, its a place where you can drop over for a sumptuous dinner after you have completed your shopping (Whatever you would have done on that …!) and had some change left which if left unspent would risk making your un-accustomed pockets jingling with coins. Its so damn cheap!!
HAVEs and HAVE-NOTs
For non-Veggies ask for ginger chicken and pathri which is something like rice chappatis but only thinner and tastier (Its like rumali-roti made with rice and of dimensions of a normal roti). Alternatively you could substitute pathri with ‘Appam’ in case you have an eclectic taste, Appam is something like baked version of rice cake and has appearance hybrid between idli in the middle of a small dosa. But, Boy! Does it taste good! If you are too tired of garlic chicken, then try ginger chicken as well. But, by far garlic is the best; ginger comes close. A rider: don’t try much more, its not all that great! For fish lovers, you’ve plenty of choice. Most of the fish curries are delicious if you do not mind the strong aroma of coconut oil.
For Veggies, substitute chicken curry with paneer butter masala and/or mushroom masala, and you got your own winner combo!
Sagar has two branches on two ends of Mavoor road and most often is swarming with people. It has three categories of seating: normal, family & AC. The cost escalation for AC is marginal so taking that is highly recommended!
In all a gluttonous meal will set you back by anything like Rs. 85 to Rs. 120 and with larger numbers the per head cost comes significantly down.
(The Authentic Arabic Cuisine served at a fraction of the Arabic prices)
The city of Calicut has been known for two things, Vasco-Da-Gama’s Entry and its next-door proximity to the Middle East. How then you would wonder would the city not be served by at least one authentic Arabic food joint? Well with Al-Bake you can put all those qualms at rest. Situated tight in the corner opposite Baby Memorial Hospital, the chain of restaurants are all labeled with bright neon lights so that you cant miss them even if you are doped that you couldn’t differentiate between a dove and a crow! It’s a largely conservative up-market restaurant frequented by most gulf-returned Mallus. Its not too well light but the ambience is quite decent. The space is a bit constricted but the air conditioning and the service more than make up for these minor defeciencies.
HAVEs and HAVE-NOTs
For non-Veggies: Try out any dish, most of them are quite palpable. I had something which tasted like ‘luckhnowi Biryani’. The beauty about this place is that I never came across a single item which was not worth trying out at least once (and maybe twice as well!). Also most food retain their distinct “Arabic” flavor and the customizations to Indian Taste if any are hardly visible to naked eyes. The desert is amazing with Ice cream shakes which are worth dying for. My favirte is the Pista Flavored one.
For Veggies: It has some dishes , but largely there are better avenues where you can try out the food. Skip Al-Bake if you intend to stick to a Veggy meal.
Al-Bake is slightly prier than Sagar but much cheaper than Sea-Queen or Mezbaan. The food is really worth the price they charge and a decent non-veg meal will cost two people Rs. 130-160 per head with a slight lessening with increasing numbers. Look for this place when ARABIC is what you are looking for.
Ambience is Very conservative, so consider a different restaurant if you plan to have a cosy dinner with your lady interest.