Date:13/12/2007 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/mp/2007/12/13/stories/2007121350890300.htm
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Fish on the boat eating out

If you are one for seafood then take a dive for Kettuvallam on Kaloor Kadavanthra Road

Photo:H.Vibhu

Hot ‘n fresh Homely food on houseboat

What can you say about an eatery that’s packed, literally packed like sardines, with customers? That the turnout speaks for itself. Yes, like sardines is befitting because it is a seafood speciality place and it is packed with diners on its sec ond anniversary because the food’s good.

Kettuvallam on Kaloor- Kadvanthra Road will attract you by its houseboat exteriors and as you step in you are greeted by tables full of people enjoying traditional fish curry rice (FCR) meals on the banana leaf. Everybody is engrossed in enjoying the meal. The bearers are busy serving heapfuls of rice after the pachadi, inchippuli and pickle have been served speedily. If you tell him gently that it’s a rather huge helping of rice he says firmly, “no correct’. So you sit back and wait for the rest of the ‘koottans’ which come quickly. In fact there’s hardly a wait. Everything is hot and happening. The restaurant is happening. Soon the thoran, aviyal and khichadi are in place. Sambar and fish curry are served and then come the seafood specialities that we ordered.

Pocket-friendly

Neimeen pollichattu (seer fish), chemmeen naadan masala (prawns masala) and aavoli fry (pomfret) make our meal.

Each dish is done the traditional way and done well. There is a host of seafood that one can try: from squids, crabs, prawns, thiruda (mullet), neimeen (seer) to aavoli. They are done in different styles: fried, masala, moily, pollichattu. One can choose whatever. What we had was good and we polished in like the others who too were lapping up the meals lustily. As soon as a table would be cleared a new set of customers would fill it up and the meal repeated. The fish curry meal is accompanied by a payasam and comes at a very reasonable Rs.50. The seafood dishes are either Rs.150 or Rs.200 depending on the chosen cooking style. What we had was good. The prawns, big and succulent, the neimeen fresh and spicy, the pomfret, big and crisp.

With so much happening on the ‘ela’ and the meal wholesome, hot and quick, food is the main course. The ambiance and the music are secondary. The front boat shaped room has an ambiance that contributes to the theme but the two inner rooms are where food is the subject. There’s nothing to digress from the food and the loud, catchy Malayalam songs add to the heat and spice of the cuisine. It is indeed a good place for office goers, for families looking for nadan food served quickly and at affordable rates but if you are looking for great ambiance, sophisticated service, piped music, it is not there but who will want the latter in place of good food that’s easy on the pocket? Join in the anniversary celebrations at Kettuvallam.

PRIYADERSHINI S.

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