I don’t know how I’ve missed Aaraamam in all my years of coming to Karama for my weekend South Indian breakfast…um, indulgence. Located on the corner of the Belhasa building beside Sheik Hamdan Colony in very heart of Karama, with a BIG sign above the entrance, it’s kinda hard to miss. Hmm. The truth is I’ve always passed it off as yet another, must visit Kerala curry house, not stopping to think that, hey! Kerala is as ‘South’ as India gets.
Aaraamam looks, feels, smells and sounds just like a restaurant…somewhere in South India; the worn, wooden benches outside and the local music adding to its authenticity. I half expected the waiters to be in lungies. The weather has cooled so I decided to sit outside. And I wasn’t alone. In fact, I think all but one couple were sitting out.
My order was taken by a young, skinny, smiley waiter who wore his really loud shirt out, as has been the fashion in that part of the world since…um, forever, as opposed to tucked in. His only question when I asked for an Idli-Wada dip was if I wanted one or two Idlis. One, I said, as I was having a Dosa next. I also asked for some South Indian coffee, which I consider to be amongst the best in the world.
Idli-Wada dip arrived in the biggest bowl I have ever been served this popular dish in. The Idli was OK, the Wada very good but the Sambar was excellent; tart, tangy and full of veggies. I’d be happy to go back for the Sambar alone. The coffee arrived piping hot, with a decent head of froth, encouraging me to slurp-cool every sip – oof, oof, oof divine. They checked with me before bringing out my Dosa. Perhaps they felt their giant bowl of ‘dip should have been enough. I was not impressed with their Dosa; it wasn’t nearly crispy enough but I’ll say this, it wasn’t oily either. The ‘masala’ filling had shredded carrots, something I have not seen that often, which gave it a bit of sweetness; a taste I do not associate with Dosa. It was just different…not at all bad.
I thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast experience at Aaraamam and have put it straight into my top ten places for breakfast in Karama, where it now sits with the likes of Venus, Woodlands, Sangeetha to name but a few. I am also going back to try their famous curries…and so should you.