Banana Leaf Special Thali, is a medium-size limited treat, which satisfied my meal appetite. The thali came in a unique shape that occupied very less space on the table, and yet was colourful and loaded with 2 sweet, 2 sabzis, dal, side dish with rasam and wada, curd, pickle, papad, and (roti/uppam/neer dosa/paratha). The rice was served with 2 options (bisi bele bhat or plain rice)
To begin with the sabzi, it was radish with potato, cooked along with grated coconut, which of course diluted the bitterness of the radish. It was a dry one without any gravy. I liked the combination which tasted even better. The second sabzi was ‘kathol’, mixed beans (2 or 3), one of them I found was chickpeas.
Initially, I thought the taste would not be much different, but then this was the biggest surprise, the gravy they used was made with cashew, coconut, and other spices, making it super rich, instead of just plain gravy. Dal did not impress me much, I mean it was just the Dal Fry wala Dal (without the tadka), which was served in the thali, but it tasted good, but somehow the dal was the odd man out in this Kerela style thali.
A side dish, which had the base of a strong tamarind rasam, with a Wada (probably a mendu wada with a shape of a lemon) created a balance of all tastes. Tamarind is an important ingredient in south Indian dishes; it’s second to the coconut, which is found in almost every south Indian dishes.
Plain curd, which was served in a good quantity, was not sour, tasted fresh. Unlike many restaurants where the curd is set in the bowl itself, here it was poured in from a big bowl or a vessel. The exciting part of this Banana Leaf Special Thali was that little pickle of mango, along with a good amount of kadi patta, with red chilli powder, without any heavy masala. The chopped mangoes were fresh; I had it with the dal rice.
Papad, when arrived, was not crunchy, the reason being, it was kept above the neer dosa, which gave enough moisture to the papad. It could have been better if the papad was served adjacent to the neer dosa or if possible in a separate plate. Those 3 neer dosas, which made my wife surprised got finished in less than 5 minutes. The quantity was ok enough, but I think 4 could have been better.
The main sweet was made with milk, having the base of pineapple, with some dry fruits. Initially, I thought it might be a payasam, but still, I was not able to make it out whether it was or not. But whatever it was I liked it very much, wish I could have had another bowl of it. The other little sweet, which was made with flour and ghee, was made with a balanced amount of sugar, I mean it was not very sweet.
I went for the bisse bille bhat at the end, and it was served in a very nice bowl with the cover. The taste was good. One thing which was missing was the Banana Chips, which is the signature of a Kerela thali. I enjoyed ‘Banana Leaf Special Thali’, which was served fast. I like the ambience, the service, and the detailed guidance given by the staff before I placed my order.