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Thamarasseri Churam - yethu!

All our Kochi friends always have this complaint about our capital city - Thiruvananthapuram doesn't have many signature restaurants... and then they go on to enumerate their hometown's signature restaurants like Kayees, Dhe Puttu etc., leaving us all with enough water in the mouth among us to float an armada if need be. Of course you can get decent meals at many restaurants and there is a veritable smorgasbord (pun intended!) of all-you-can-eat buffets all over the city, but very few places where eating is actually fun and you can remember a few dishes as your favorites.

Well, I for one think that this scenario is changing, slowly but surely - perhaps due to the influx of North Malayalis in great numbers who all must be complaining about the same. No doubt stodgy Thiruvananthapuram people are also reveling in this welcome change.

In the months of April and May this year, our regular FM stations were airing the ads of a very curiously named restaurant serving Malabari dishes. "Thamarassery Churam". This, as any Malayalam movie buff knows, is the phrase immortalized by the road-roller mechanic played by Pappu in Vellanakalude Naadu. Would that pique the interest of the denizens of Karthi? You bet!!

So we drove there one day in time for lunch, with my vegetarian DH who doesn't take well to biriyani either griping all the way about whether he would get a decent veggie meal. (You should know that this is the guy who went to visit several cities in the US - ONLY after checking and marking the nearest Indian restaurants in the area. As a family, we are very gastronomically handicapped!) Whether the food would be good or not, we were sure of some entertainment as soon as we saw this sign above the restaurant door...

And then came the menu...

I won't include the whole menu here, why endanger your keyboard with floods? And while we were waiting for our orders to arrive, we had this to look at...

No, not the couple... the wall behind them! We had a lot of fun guessing and arguing about the movies the quotes came from. And of course, DH got every one of them right as usual - and I really hoped the fun we were having would put him in a good mood when the food arrived! I will not put the whole wall pic here because you would like to try your hand at guessing them if you ever go there.

Soon our food arrived and the dark color itself was enticing to say the least...

At Karthi, we like our food really hot and spicy... so when we see pale curries, half the fun goes away. Ani who complains a lot when I make a spicy veggie dish was asking for more lamb curry even as he was gasping from its fiery taste. And - this happens very rarely - DH gave his seal of approval for the vegetarian meal! Yaay, that's all ticks in our book!

And if we got bored with the quote selection on the wall, there were cryptic puzzles elsewhere, like this...

And when it was time to pay...

As I understand, the spiciness factor can be varied according to taste. The service was prompt and courteous and the restaurant was spick n' span. All in all, we had fun. We've already marked down what dishes we would like to try the next time. And the kids go, "When are we going back to Thamarasseri Churam?" Such demand for a non-fast food place? We are happy!

For those who would like to try this restaurant for themselves, click on  the directions.

Disclaimer: This review is not sponsored by the restaurant and is based on just one lunch with a limited number of dishes... so please don't hold me responsible for something you don't like there! :D


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