Ikkakas – Taste of Malabar
The swanky dining area, overlooking Cenotaph Road, Teynapet have some mouth-watering delicacies right from the heart of Kerala’s Culinary Capital – The Malabar. Seems to have started some 3 months back, this place played hide and seek with me many a times, as it is located beneath the flyover. As the name suggests, the menu is well inclined towards the famed Moplah cuisine; to name a few – Kallumakaya Nirachat & Nei Pathal!
The Food Journey
The appetizing siblings, spicy Attirachi Pathiri and sweetened Chatti Pathiri (Layers of Steamed Rice Sheets with Mutton & Egg in the former and with Egg, Raisin, Cashew in the latter) was more than enough to trigger the nostalgic taste buds in you. Attirachi Pathiri wins over the slightly over burnt Chatti Pathiri.
The Chicken Cutlet was the usual, no complaints-no compliments category.
Beef Ularthiyath, aptly cooked small cubes of beef mixed with homely masala wins my heart, hands down. Go for it with-out a second thought, if you are a beef-eater.
The well mashed Kappa Vevichath finds a surprise partner in Onakkameen Ularthiyath (Dried Fish Masala) and both got synced in style! Caution: Go for it ONLY if you are Dry fish fan, else the smell itself might turn you down.
The finest Puttu gels well with the most authentic Kadala Curry, which I had from any of the restaurants in near past. Layered fluffy Kerala Porotta finds it partner in Kozhi Varutharacha Curry and the soft Pathiri or the mediocre Appam in Mutton Stew. Mutton Stew, the tender pieces of mutton cooked to perfection in coconut based gravy along with potato and mildly spiced with black pepper was the star of the evening.
The ‘Biriyani-o-holic’ in me, would rate Ikkaka’s Chicken Biriyani as one among the best you get in Chennai. Tender pieces of well cooked Chicken mixed with succulent homely masala inside the aromatic rice, will give an instant high! The Fish Biriyani had a very bad piece of Seer Fish hiding inside and was a total let down.
Ended with a spicy Kulukki Sarbath, Goli Soda and their signature Tender Coconut Mousse. Kulukki Sarbath was so refreshing with the spot-on mix of sweet and spice. Tender Coconut Mousse, the best in class mousse tucked inside a real tender coconut was truly out of world!
Smartly designed dining area, which can accommodate around 50 guests at a time, is aesthetically enhanced with a beautiful caricature of Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, an old Gramophone, a ‘Thattu Kada’ setup, to name a few. Ease of parking in the same compound is definitely an added advantage.
The Service Quotient
Courteous staff, who are knowledgeable about each and every item in the menu can assist you with your order. You can feel the genuineness and warmth in the non-disturbing feedback sessions in-between the meal. Service was aptly paced. The ‘No Nonsense/ No Questions Asked Return Policy’ of the sub-standard Fish Biriyani, upon highlighting the issue is something appreciable; but do take measures to ensure quality in each and every meal served.
Per dish cost will average out to around Rs. 200 – 250 and a meal for two ‘good’ eaters will cost you around Rs. 750 to 1000. The bill of around Rs. 3200 for 7 persons, for all the above mentioned dishes sounds OK, considering the taste.
Definitely not be treated as a place for a daily affair. They levy 5% Service Charge over and above the bill along with the usual suspects in the name of SGST and CGST. For the service they provide, I found it as a reasonable 5%.
The ‘Not-so-Happy’ me
- Would love to eat that Biriyani with authentic Coconut Chutney and Dates Pickle
- Bottled water priced at Rs. 30, despite adding 5% Service Charge to the bill seems unfair
- Goli Soda’s from Kozzmo, priced at Rs. 120 per bottle seems to be totally unfair. Had the same from other restaurants for even half the price.
- Again back to Fish Biriyani; though the dish was taken back without any hesitation, never expected such a fish to be served to any customer in a restaurant of this stature.
- The pricing of Tender Coconut Mousse in the Main Menu is Rs. 180 and in the Table top leaflet is Rs. 220. Menu needs to be corrected to reflect the updated price.
Hoping to strike off at least few from the above points during my next visit.
Keep up the authentic taste! Cheers!!
Cenotaph Rd, Rathna Nagar, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600018