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Gourmets' delight

The Vazhuthacaud ward in the city has seen a proliferation of restaurants in recent times.


FOR THE gourmets in town, all roads lead to Vazhuthacaud these days. Vazhuthacaud has been one among the more popular residential areas in the city. However, in recent times, this ward has also emerged as one of the favoured locations for opening new restaurants and eateries. Vazhuthacaud, it seems, has the maximum number of restaurants and eateries in town and many more are coming up.

"I don't know what it is about Vazhuthacaud, but somehow, almost all the new joints that have come up here in the past few years have become popular. People are probably eating out more, but old and new joints seem to be doing good business," observes Ashok, a Vazhuthacaud resident, whose loves to check out new eateries.

Till the early Nineties, there were only a handful of eating joints here -- a couple of vegetarian and Tamil Brahmin restaurants, the Cotton Hill restaurant, which the non-vegetarians frequented for its fried rice and chicken, and Nikunjam, which many used to flock to, courtesy its chilli chicken.

"Today, there are some 25 odd eateries in and around this junction alone. The biggest advantage is the sheer variety of food that can be had in this small geographical area. Simple and tasty meals can be had here for Rs. 10, and so can a three-course meal for Rs. 500," says Vazhuthacaud Narendran, the ward councillor and a resident of Vazhuthacaud for the past 50 years.

The area has a tandoor joint, a seafood speciality restaurant patronised by many celebrity gourmets and another one that specialises in Malabar and Moplah cuisine. The so-called Chinese dishes are served in almost all the places. One of the old-time fast food joints here, famed for its special and spicy chicken fry, has become a full-fledged restaurant with a take-home counter. A little way up the junction, towards Cotton Hill, are upmarket restaurants that offer multi-cuisine food, including Thai.

There are Brahmin vegetarian hotels, a dosa corner, and a `little' tea shop in the locality. As night falls, several mobile eateries and thattukadas too come alive. These are patronised by many, including the urban middle class. Apart from eateries, Vazhuthacaud has many juice and milk shake parlours and two of the best-known bakeries in town. A step away from Bakery junction, at the `border' of the ward, you also get your fill of pizzas, burgers and pastas.

The number of eateries in this area began to register an increase after 1995, says Narendran. At least 15 new eateries have come up in the area since then, he adds. The mushrooming of eateries, he feels, is directly related to the lifestyle of the young urban middle class.

Another reason could be the proliferation of apartment complexes in this area. The Vazhuthacaud ward extends from Bakery Junction to Indira Bhavan and then from Edapazhanji Junction to DPI Junction. There are at least 14 apartments in this area, mostly occupied by people in the age group of 25-40.

With the most of the apartment owners being well-educated, tech-savvy, well-heeled and either DINK (double income, no kids) or DISK (you guessed it - double income, single kid), eating out or getting a takeaway is a daily affair for most.

Most of the second generation residents here have left to set up independent establishments and in many homes, only the parents remain. They are also among those who love to eat out on weekends and for them, the choice offered by the neighbourhood eateries proves very convenient, says Narendran.

C. MAYA

Photo: S. Gopakumar

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