Fine dines, thematic restaurants change the face of Kannur

The interiors of Nauka restaurant in Thavakkara, Kannur

Malabar is often referred to as a foodie’s paradise. From the traditional cuisine to the modern and experimental flavours, an extraordinary gastronomical experience awaits the food lovers here. A bunch of new generation restaurants and cafes too play a significant role in ‘serving’ a unique food culture to Malabar.

Meet and eat

Restaurants are more than places where food is served; it has become a space for people to enjoy some leisurely time accompanied by some mouth-watering dishes. Even the concept of running a hotel in a ‘building’ has changed. From suave cafes and posh restaurants to wayside eateries or food trucks, these spaces are where people choose to have an intimate conversation over a cup of cappuccino or have a gala time with the friends sharing a plate of piping hot biryani. The idea of customarily serving food 4 times a day has been changed to serving food only when one wants.

Facilities too matter

From neatness to the availability of parking space, people consider various factors before choosing a restaurant to dine. No one makes compromise on cleanliness. Many hotel owners say that their customers often enquire whether the plates are washed in hot water. If ceiling fans were a luxury in the hotels in the past, today there are hardly any restaurants without an air-conditioned section. The restaurants are in fact vying with each other to arrange amazing facilities as well to woo customers, apart from serving delicious food. Most of the restaurants have play areas for kids and valet parking these days.

The old fades away

Small thatched tea shops have almost become a thing of the past. These tea shops were in fact centres of community life where people would not only gather for their daily tea and local snacks, but often indulged in discussions on political and social matters. The older generation who were used to tea and snacks would gape as they take a look at the menu of a high-end restaurant. Old samovars have given way to suave coffee machines, and local snacks are replaced by experimental cuisine. Thematic restaurants are the current trend and the youngsters are always ready to try out different flavours and experiences.

Setting the mood

The train-themed Cafe 916 at Court Road near Thalassery

Themed restaurants function on the basis of a particular theme and aims to give the customers a memorable dining experience. Theme-based restaurants are of two types, the most common one is to design or decorate the interior of the restaurant based on a specific theme. From the various décor accessories to the furniture, the restaurants can excite the customers by sticking to a particular theme. Excellent examples of thematic restaurants in Malabar are the Nouka restaurant in Kannur and the 916 café at Thalassery. Some may even try out theme-based changes in their menu as well. But the main challenge of experimenting in food is that the idea may backfire if the food is not delicious.

Cafes and lassi shops

Apart from theme-based restaurants, cafes and lassi shops too have become a trend in Kannur. Though these cafes and lassi shops target the youngsters, lots of people irrespective of the age have become admirers of these little cozy cafes. Varieties of drinks prepared with milk, fruit syrups and soda are loved by the customers. Though these cafes and lassi shops are not as spacious as the restaurants, the menu card sure is filled with exciting new tastes.

At your doorsteps

From home delivery and take away counters to online applications, restaurants are ready to ‘serve’ food at customers' doorsteps. Besides, many motels, where customers can order and eat food in their cars itself, have opened in Kannur. Even when the hotel owners vouch that they are dedicated to cater to the needs of the changing food culture, it cannot be forgotten that they are ready to play any ‘trick’ to be in the business.

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