See, Food Village is not some place you would generally gravitate to by just seeing it from outside. For one thing, their decor and seating leaves a lot to be desired. We had ignored this place for the longest time just because it looked so uninviting with its minimal decor and cafeteria like look, almost like it was just another one of those wannabe multi-cuisine eateries where the only dishes they could serve correctly were the regular Gobi Manchurian, Chilli Chicken and Kerala Porotta. The bland lighting and glass paneled doors all contributed in making this place look, frankly, unappetizing.
But when I finally found myself eating at Food Village upon the recommendation of Shailaja, whose opinion on food I value tremendously, I was quite impressed by the Hot and Sour Soup that contained copious amounts of exotic ingredients like shiitake mushrooms and tofu (as opposed to just the carrots and cabbage we are all so used to); the Caesar Salad that was not just filled with yummy bits of roast chicken but also loaded with Parmesan Cheese (a rarity in the market); and the heartwarmingly delish Pad Thai, which hitherto, even some of the so called best restaurants in India have disappointed me with.
With this background info on the restaurant's strive towards authenticity, I took the brave step today of attempting to try their Falafel, to soothe out my Taameya craving. I knew it would not be as good as Egyptian falafel, just because they were making it out of chickpeas rather than fuul beans, but hey, something is better than nothing. The fact that it came with some hummus was a good enough incentive. In embarrassingly multicuisine fashion, we also ordered some noodles and dragon chicken for the kids. We gave the order and they said that they would deliver it to our home, which was very welcome, as it meant we didn't have to sit around waiting in that rather cold environment.
Instead, we decided to induce more food into our waiting period by heading to our favourite joint for grilled rotisserie chicken, Al Barad, at Vytilla Junction. Here, a fine full chicken, perfectly marinated and grilled, was chopped into four and packed with the complimentary garlic paste, tangy pickled carrots, cucumbers and green chillis and qubus bread. I assure you, we have tried out so many places in town, but nobody does grilled chicken like the folks at Al Barad. While we got into the car with this "parcel," we got a call from home - it was my mom letting us know that the Food Village delivery guy had reached. Wow, their speed was quite impressive! Now we only had to wait and see whether the food would do justice as well.
And sure enough it did. The falafel was perfectly fried, without any extra grease and with as much flavour as chickpea falafel can have. The accompanying hummus, that was embellished with tasty olives, was a winner too. I made myself a Taameya sandwich and truly relished the flavours that had been missing from my palate for so many years now. The noodles were great value for money and Rehan particularly loved the Dragon Chicken which consisted of around ten pieces of juicy boneless chicken tossed in a spicy sauce garnished with spring onions and cashew nuts. The grilled chicken from Al Barad, as always, hit the right spot.
All in all, our eclectic dinner was just the perfect dose of medicine for the fever we had been fighting off. And it is such a wonderful feeling to know that we could get this tasty meal consisting of so many different types of cuisine, here in our own Kochi - without having to pay a bomb for it. I am liking where the food journey of my city is going, that's for sure!