Monday, May 12, 2014

Diversity @MGrill

Yesterday, we had a large party at home, our friends from Bangalore wanted something Continental; our parents wanted to have Parotta and some Malabari Curry; our mind was wavering to Italian - the only place in Kozhikode that offers such variety is MGrill at Focus Mall, so off we went.

Let me begin by stating the obvious, I love MGrill. It gives me a wide variety of food under one roof and rarely disappoints me. The bearers are very polite and always ready to help. I also love the whole ambiance, with the open kitchen and all. Somehow the sight of fresh food being made, the smell of different ingredients and the heat in the air (from all the cooking), adds to the food experience (for me). 

We began with our favorite, the Traditional French Soup, served in a bread bowl, it is creamy and very whole. I especially love the fried onions that are added to the soup, really enhances the flavor. If had alone, it is enough to fill one's stomach but since we were sharing, it managed to heighten our taste buds to enjoy the lavish dinner. My six-month old, loved the Soup and kept asking for more.

(Our photography skills are just developing, we apologize in advance for the sloppy pictures)

 (A picture from their Facebook page, looks more tempting here)

(I momentarily stopped feeding her, to take a picture...It didn't go down too well with her)

For the main dish, we all ordered diversely. Our friends had the Honey Balsamic Chicken and the Chicken Portobello, we had the Arrabbiata, while our parents shared Maida/Wheat Parotta with the Fish Mango Curry and the Kerala Prawns Curry. 

 (Honey Balsamic Chicken
Courtesy: MGrill Facebook Page)

(Our picture...It never looks the same does it?)

Our friend's young son, who ate the Chicken Portobello said, "The chicken is quite nice", which is huge praise coming from a 12-year old. The Honey Balsamic Chicken was also awesome, I especially liked its smoothness. 


We enjoyed the Arrabbiata, the pasta was very well made and juicy. The olives were well blended and added zing to the spiciness of the tomato-based sauce. To the Parotta and Malabari Curries my parents replied, "Kozhapam Illa", which is awesome, 'cause they rarely like eating out.

Why no deserts, well I would have loved to try some Choco Mudpie but my daughter was past her sleeping time. Somehow toddlers never appreciate food over good sleep. Hence, had to leave in a hurry. 

For some the prices at MGrill may look a little high but for us this lavish dinner came to about Rs 250/- per person, which I thought was pretty reasonable.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Our benchmarks for a good food place

Nirmal Reporting:

Our general theory on Kozhikode's food places is that the one who cant pay justice to a 'Kozhikodan Biriyani' does not deserve to run a hotel in this paradise for foodies. Many of our friends from the south of Kerala, find this part of the State pretty laid back in terms of aspirations (May be, they haven't looked at the latest socio-economic statistics). But all them agree to the taste that even the smallest hotel establishment of Kozhikode ensures. For us, anybody who finds Kozhikode's food (Malabari food in general) not for his/her taste buds, should better get their tongues tested.

Our food experiences here have ranged from the most Traditional to Continental. The Tattu Dosa made in front of New Tops Bakery, Malapparambu (there has been some rearrangement in their placement these days, we are yet to figure it out); Nattholi Fry at Dolphin Restaurant in MM Ali Road; Traditional French Soup at MGrill, Focus Mall; Goan Fish Curry at King's Bay; Beef Biriyani at Rahmath Hotel; Chicken Ala-Kiev at Sea Queen; Fish Fry at Amma Mess; Traditional Lunch (Uunu) at Brother's Hotel, Karanthur, have all been heart stealers. They have surprised our palates and left us wanting for more. Surprisingly, there are many more that deserve our attention, we hope our blog will give them their due.

Kozhikode, however is no food haven, you can easily lose your way if you are not guided well. We have had our share of sob stories to tell. We were once served Chicken Strogonoff, when we ordered Chicken Ala Kiev at the Sea Queen Hotel, even as the bearer kept insisting that it was Ala Kiev. On 'summoning' the restaurant manager, he first defended the bearer saying, "Chicken Ala Kiev can be made this way as well". Unfortunately for him, we didn't agree and he had to replace the dish with the original. Though he did later come to clarify, he said, "People in Kozhikode like the Strogonoff version better, so we don't serve the other thing." Another story of regret, was our time at Garlic Routes, first with their burnt Sizzler and then a second time with their sticky, overcooked Biryani, made us very angry. We have not yet forgiven them for the Biriyani. Copperfolia disappointed us on our wedding anniversary with their portion sizes and ambiance (or should we say, the lack of it).

In short our culinary journey has had good and bad times, but predominantly they have been good. For a long time we had been planning to jot down these experiences..and now here is where we have found the space.