Kerala Castle is a (very) South Indian restaurant in Al Nahda. Located opposite the Sahara Centre on Amman Street, its interior is a simple, yellow-walled affair, central to which is a display of their prep kitchen where a bored-looking staff member feebly attempts to make meter long tea and coffee. When we entered early Saturday morning there was a repulsive smell of an unwashed toilet in the air. So much so that we nearly walked back out again. We were hungry, and the thought of some yummy South Indian breakfast was too great. With hindsight, we should have left.
After much debate and discussion, a supervisor finally came to resolve our request of one idli and one vada in a bowl of sambar – idli/vada dip. Our waiter just couldn’t get beyond one three-piece portion of idli and one two-piece portion of vada times two (there were two of us). Anyway, we ended up getting one plate with two idlis and another plate with two vadas with small bowls of lukewarm sambar and the most delicious chutneys I have had in a long, long time – especially the coconut chutney. The vadas were obvious re-heats (and still cold on the inside) and oily. The idlis were hot, fluffy and delicious though. Our biggest disappointment, however, were the dosas which, for some unfathomable reason were served along with the idli/vadas (even though we specifically asked for them to be served after we had finished with our first course), arrived already soggy and cold. Boo!
And that just about sums up our experience at Kerala Castle, a restaurant which most certainly has much more to offer than what my food buddy, Arjun and I encountered. It wouldn’t be fair for me to generalise and say everything about this restaurant was a disappointment because it wasn’t – the coconut chutney, sambar and milk coffee were all very good. But if you find yourself there for a dosa breakfast, I’d specifically ask for my dosa to be hot and crispy, and if you’re having a vada, for it to be properly warmed. Remember at all times that you are in al-Nahda, an area with an abundance of excellent South Indian restaurants, many of which are within a 2-minute drive of the Kerala Castle.
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Xerxes physically visits (and dines at) each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat and drink. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews. What you have read was not influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org