-By Marryam H Reshii
What was a trickle has now become a flood: South Indian cuisines have moved light years away from the idlis and dosas of yesteryear. In Spice Water Trail, the four cuisines have reached their most sophisticated, most regional aspect yet, of almost any comparable restaurant in the NCR. Differentiation, has for instance, been made between Syrian Christian dishes and South Kerala pure vegetarian favourites within the Kerala menu; it's the same for the Andhra Pradesh menu, where a clear distinction has been made between food from Rayalseema and food from Visakhapatnam or Nellore. Perhaps the best part of Spice Water Trail is that the Chettinad dishes in the Tamil Nadu menu eschew the cliches of Chettinad cuisine and include home-style dishes that are seldom seen in restaurant menus even in Chennai, leave alone Delhi.
It is gratifying to see how many new restaurants are being set up in the M Block market of Greater Kailash: for too long, the same old places held sway. The restaurant is a subtle blend of neutral decor with South Indian touches. Thankfully, it is not a prototype of a 7th century temple, with quaintly dressed waiters! The most perfect section is the one from Kerala. Mutton coconut fry (Rs 275) features small cubes of lamb stir-fried in a thick coconutbased masala. Tenderloin stir-fried (Rs 245) is redolent of coconut oil and is one of the best dishes on this menu. You won't believe you are not in a small wayside eatery near Kottayam when you tuck into it, helped along by a couple of Malabar parottas (Rs 50 each). Prawns and raw mango (Rs 595) is a near identical rendition of a fish/prawn curry made in Alappuzha (Alleppey) where the souring agent is raw mango. Alas, our North Indian raw mangoes have none of the inherent sweetness of their Kerala counterparts, but except for that minor hitch, the taste is remarkably similar.
Bombay duck fry (Rs 325) is as good as any rendition you'd get in the Gomantak region. Moolai varuval (Rs 325) is the quintessential Chettinad housewife's standby dish, mutton stew (Kerala) is mild and rich with coconut milk -the perfect accompaniment is appams. And though Spice Water Trail is a paradise for non-vegetarian food, one of their best dishes is moru kuzhambu (Rs 175), made the Tamilian way. It is the kadhiof the south, and the simplest and quickest-to-cook dish.
Where the restaurant will have to buck up is in its Andhra section. The catfish curry with tamarind (Rs 325) that I ordered was so way off the mark that I doubt there's any personnel from that state in the kitchen. Billed on the menu as chepala (sic) pulusu, or fish curry, there's a line describing it as originating from Nellore. Don't believe it â€” it tastes like Mughlai meets Continental.
But what if you simply hate South Indian food? That's the trump card that the restaurant has up its sleeve: one section, admittedly short, contains tandoori food. I haven't tried it, but it was described to me by the Mangalorean manager, Shetty, as having traditional spices, albeit in innovative vehicles like vegetables, paneer and trout. (By the way, if you need the menu elucidated, just call for Shetty - the staff is still rather out of their depth).
Review posted within last 6 month
Spice Water Trail is a perfect place....visited here with some frnds last week and loved it...food was undoubtedly good..they have variety and all are amazing to have....also, the service of the restaurant is good..they are fast and frindly... pay another visit soon
Review posted more than 6 month ago
This place is serving amazing south Indian food. Even though I have tried South Indian food in many place in and around the city but here in Spice Water Trail this popular cuisine has been taken to altogether a different level.
To understand what i am saying just try the Bombay Duck, the best in the town. Mutton coconut fry is another delicacy i love gorging in....
The modern "tarka" used in the authentic Southy food simply rocks....
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