Malabar Paris

When I mention this restaurant to friends, I’m met with blank or confused stares – like “What? Where is that?” Evide?

Let’s break it down. The Malabar region is an area in southern India lying between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. The Malabar coast refers to the strip that runs all the way from Goa in Karnataka to Kanyakumari in Kerala (the southernmost tip of India). Paris on the other hand, sigh.. You’ve probably heard me talk about my love for the ‘City of light’ a few times before. It’s magical, charming <insert other many superlatives> SO. Whoever came up with the name of this restaurant probably meant it is the Parisian equivalent of Malabar cuisine? Wonderful, of the highest quality, captivating. Once you eat here, you’ll never settle for anything less ever again? Maybe. We can take whatever we want from it! Heck, it’s not even important here!

If I had to give you the five words low-down, Kerala is the land of spices, fish, ayurvedic massages and coconuts. I mean look at this beauty – do you blame them?

Houseboat-Kerala-Backwaters-India

 Pic courtesy

One of the best ways to know if a restaurant is good or not is to look at how busy it is. And if it is occupied by locals, in this case, by Keralites. No problem here. If you go during lunch or dinner time, Malabar Paris has a long queue of people waiting to be seated.

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{pic courtesy: www.munawelgroup.com}

There are a couple of standard things we eat when we go here. I have to admit, I looked up the menu on Zomato and couldn’t find the right names for what we order. So when you’re there, please pull up this post on your phone and show your server the following pictures 🙂

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Masala tiger prawns. The star dish. If you have only one dish here, this should be it. You get 12 8 pieces to a plate and I guarantee you’ll be using your fingers to mop up the last of the masala!

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Green mango fish curry. Comes in this massive chatti (traditional clay pot) which people in south India usually cook in. It serves as many as 4-5 people and you can pick whatever fish is special for the day/ is on the menu. We usually go with kingfish.

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Hot chilly fish (It’s actually what it’s called!). Little morsels of goodness topped with crunchy fried onions. Don’t go by the name though, it’s not that spicy. Believe me, my spice tolerance is quite low. 

 Other dishes we tried on our most recent visit:

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Mix veg curry. Creamy, like a korma. Let them know if you want it as a gravy or ‘dry’

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Expo 2020. Everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon! And why not? White fish, lots of green chillies. I probably wouldn’t order this again though.

Make sure you order lots of appams and parathas which are perfect with the gravies.

They also have some ‘exotic’ meats here. I tried deer (venison) which tasted like beef. #poorbambi

Tip #1

Sit in the “family room” and ask for a guy called ‘Elbow’ ‘Aldoh’ (thanks Rohith!). He’s so friendly and helpful, it’s amazing!

Tip #2

There are rumors that Malabar Paris offers free valet parking services. I’ve never tried it but if you find a drive in to Karama daunting, this would be a good option as parking here is scarce!

If you’re familiar with Calicut Paragon and are wondering how this place fares in comparison, it’s everything CP does right but with Elbow’s friendly face, those prawns and no spice-induced headache after! Don’t miss it!

Author: Nancy

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