As a resident of North India, and a victim of its cuisine based on refined wheat, polished rice, cooked-to-extinction veggies and red meat imbued with the fragrance of screwpine for many months, it was a liberating experience to be able to eat at The Coconut Grove during a day-long business visit.
I gave the slip to a number of colleagues more interested in drinking than in eating, and found myself on Church Road, opposite the restaurant. Every step I climbed on the staircase leading to it met me with increasing evidence that foreshadowed a meal worth remembering.
So, I debatedbetween Markandam (goat) soup and Panni Varathathu (pork), opting for the latter and not regretting my choice. The people on the next table had ordered a Kallimekai (mussel) dish that I inhaled in envy, cursing my shellfish allergy. I followed up with about a dozen Appams that I devoured with Malabar Erachi curry.
Feeling several kilos heavier, I ended with Chukku Chakkara Kappi (NOT for the nervous), and walked away, alternately hiccuping (from the ginger in the coffee) and belching (fermented froth though it may be, the appam gets aeronautical aspirations in my digestive system) -- a satisfied stranger in a busy
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