Rasa Samundra: quick impression
This is a quick impression, since I didn't get a chance to try too many dishes. And a second even bigger qualification is that place specializes in seafood and I only tried vegetarian items. But I was on Charlotte Street Sunday evening, in need of a quick dinner with friends, so in I went.
The menu is unconventional -- they truly focus on the Kerala food -- no saag, mater, malai kofta, or paneer in sight. One of the starters was a basket of crisp snacks (murukku, banana chips, batter fried papads, and achappam). I normally associate the first two with teatime rather than dinner, but no matter, it has been a while since I had murukku (which we call chakli in my part of the country) and I was pleased. The second starter was the banana boli (plantain fritters), which were ok: my palate craved some chutney (and for that matter a cup of tea) with them, but they fit the need for a less spicy starter for my friends and weren't bad, just a little light on the spice.
For dinner, we had the following:
- cheera paripu curry: toor dal with spinach. It was not too oily (good!), but again a little under-spiced for me. But still, nice to have a good yellow dal with dinner.
- moru kachiathu: sweet mangoes (never saw them) and green banana cooked in yogurt with chillies and ginger. This was very nice, again a less spicy item, but in this case the flavors didn't crave more spice -- it tasted just right, a bit of richness from the yogurt but also a bit of sour to offset it along with the light spices. It reminded me of a Gujarati kadhi, which goes beautifully with rice.
- pachakkari thoran was another success: stir fried vegetables. You've probably heard me (Howler, other Indians) complain that when we eat at home our vegetables are lightly cooked, and are typically not floating in creamy/ oily sauces. Well this is a fine example. The vegetables were crisp and the the spices light, but pretty good.
- Lemon rice: good.
One can't really come to a bottom line on this place without trying the seafood, which I leave to others. But I was pleased with my meal: nothing my mother or at least 3 of my aunts couldn't surpass, but good, unfussy, light. I walked away without a brick in my stomach, and actually managed to get a few items that one doesn't find on the typical menu.
i had the fish banquet with lovely wife and mother in law and ate so much i could not walk to see the elgin marbles for fear of vomiting. i had to sit on a bench rubbing my enormous belly and groaning for almost 30 mins.
the food was ok, innovative but not spectacular.
more quantity than quality and all rather samey, coconut and curry leaves almost ad nauseum.
wouldnt go again.