Having traveled the length & breadth of India & despite tasting various cuisines, the only region I hadn’t visited was Kerala. After arriving in Dubai, I realized that this was a catastrophic mistake. Like Buddha got his Nirvana under the Bodhi tree, I got it in Calicut Paragon.
Ambiance: Seafood is on display as soon as you enter the restaurant. Waiters are bustling through the large crowd waiting inside the restaurant. Kerala Parotas & Grilled Fish is being prepared near the entrance. This is a slightly upscale version of a typical Keralite restaurant.
Service: Very Good. They manage to pay attention to you through the vast turnover of people & the hundreds of meals re servings. Helpful for a kerala food newbie in terms of dish recommendations as well.
Food: This is the Gold standard of Keralite food for me ever!!!
The Fish/Chicken Mulakitthu is a beautiful blend of sour & spicy.
My all time favorite is the Prawns Pepper Dry Fry. Peppery & crispy shallow fried. This is the only Prawns dish where I end up eating the crunchy prawn head as well. 11/10 rating.
Squids/Mussels/Crab/Fish Dry Fry are equally delectable in the red masala.
Go in for the Sheri Malabar Fry which with the tangy rub on the fish is Yumm.
The Kerala version of the Chicken/Fish/Mutton Biryani was a new discovery to me having tasted all versions of Biryani in India. It is amazing, the meat is spiced well & the rice grains are small and separating from each other.
But what was amazing was the Pothicharu Prawns Biryani. Enclosed in a banana leaf parcel that you open up & it has juicy succulent prawns with wonderful spices & small grained rice. This is a Specialty Dish available only on certain occasions, keep a track of it & head straight whenever it pops up.
Kerala Meals are the best I have tasted in entire UAE.
The Appams or Kerala parotas are a wonderful accompaniment to the entire dining experience.
Don’t forget to try the Elaneer Payasam which is jaggery flavored semi solid payasam topped with Ice cream Or just savor the Tender coconut pudding.
Pricing: Reasonable & worth every penny. A meal for 2 will range from 50 – 100 Dhs depending on whether you go in for the Lunch Meals or the A La Carte.
Final word: Drop spoons & forks, dig in to the wonderful world of Calicut Paragon & relieve yourself of worldly worries for a few hours.