‘Steam in the Wok’ @ Hilton Garden Inn, Trivandrum

Last weekend I got an invite for a media preview at the Hilton Garden Inn, Trivandrum; for their Chinese food festival, ‘Steam in the Wok’. The week long fest at their Garden Grille Restaurant is being led by their international chef, Chef Yap Hock Yin from Hilton Kuala Lumpur and features a wide range of Chinese cuisines from the Sichuan, Hunan and Cantonese regions.

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The great Dhaba festival at Vivanta by Taj, Trivandrum

Start with the Lassi and finish with the Masala Chai, suggested Hari Krishnan, the Sous Chef at Vivanta by Taj, Trivandrum; a premium luxury hotel in the capital city. That’s exactly what I did at the Dhaba fest currently going on there. And in between I had Chole Batture, Aloo Tikki & Pankhuri Fry for starters, Spicy Jinga Kachumar Chaat for salad; and Butter Chicken & Phulka, and a spoonful of Mutton Biriyani for the main course. A special treat from the Sous Chef was the Kadi Pakoda and Sarong ka Saag (which was not there on the buffet). For dessert, it was a bite of Anjeer Barfi, Kaju Roll, Kala Jamun Badam Cultet, and Rice Kheer.

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A slice of Italy @ Vivanta by Taj, Trivandrum

I am not a full time blogger but I do blog once in a while. Last week when I got an invite from the Vivanta by Taj – Trivandrum, a premium luxury hotel in the capital city, for their Italino Food Promo, apart from doing my usual news report, thought would do a blog post also. It’s not often that you get to review an International cuisine while you relish and taste some of the best Italian delicacies in its authentic style and flavour.

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Chandran Pillai’s shack @ Thirumullawaram – a must visit place for seafood freaks

I have been hearing about Chandran Pillai and his famous seafood thattukada (something close to a shack) ever since I shifted to Kerala in 2007. The last time I was driving through Kollam, I decided to check out the place to have some good seafood. Just 3 kms off the old National Highway from Kollam, Thirumullawaram has a rustic and serene setting that’s a welcome break for us city dwellers. You can park the car amidst the coconut trees and walk across the rocky beach to Chandran Pillai’s shack.

Even though the facilities are the bare minimum, it offers the best seafood you can get in this part of the country. Shrimp, mussels, crabs, fish head (thala) curry, fish fry, etc… you name it, it’s there.

Update: This post was published in 2009 after our first visit there and since then, we have been going to Chandran Pillai’s kada at least once a year or whenever we drive through Kollam. There are times when we plan our journey through Kollam just to have food at this place.

Chandran Pillai has since shifted to a much bigger and better place but the taste still remains the same. Somehow, I liked the old settings. Btw, now you can drive straight to his hotel. Click here for some photographs taken in 2016.