Contrary to what its name suggests, Taste of Malabar is not purely a Malabari restaurant. It’s a do-it-all which serves dosa, idli and sambar on the one hand and Desi-Chinese, fried rice and noodles on the other. Located on the left as you enter the Al Quoz Mall, this VFM eatery has its main seating area upstairs but there are also tables on the ground floor which are mainly reserved for single men. Its interior is not pretty by any stretch of the imagination but it’s relatively clean and the family section (upstairs) where we were shown to was cool if a little stuffy – there is no view, the whole area is fully enclosed.
Many of the menu items we tried to order, including pomfret for the Karimeen Pollichathu (fish fry), were unavailable. In the case of the pomfret, we had to settle for a slice each of kingfish which arrived fried solid and dry but, my companion Kambiz noted, still delicious. We ordered vada and sambar to start our meal with – idli was also not available. For some unfathomable, although it was clearly a warm-in-the-microwave job, the vada was served last. I didn’t like it or the sambar. Dal, Bhindi Fry, Prawn Curry, Jeera Rice and a Malabar Paratha made up the rest of our order – everything thankfully and quite surprisingly good. So good, in fact, that we decided to take what was left home.
We were greeted with a lot more enthusiasm than we were served. In addition to service being snail-paced, attracting attention was also challenging – we literally had to get up and go find our waiter two out of three times. It took an age for our food to be served and when, eventually it was, it arrived without cutlery. Chipped plates, mix and matched spoons – oof, these guys were on fire. Service – the single biggest weakness of this restaurant otherwise the food was actually quite decent. Would I come back? Absolutely not – my preference at Al Quoz Mall remains Jalpaan.
I give this restaurant a Ravenous Rating of 2.5 out of 5.0.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on email@example.com.