Thursday, 26 July 2012

Kerala Café

Please make sure you try Kerala Café – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.  I hope you won’t be disappointed rather?

Kerala café is a proper little gem on the edge of Bradford – probably Shipley really.  They are succeeding in carving out a nice little niche, and properly deserve a visit.

It’s a nice friendly environment, and an opportunity for the Bradfordian to sample an alternative to the norm of thick, dark, rich, often heavy, ghee’d up to the max, Kashmiri curries… oh and naans on sticks, let’s not forget the naans on sticks...  Ok, ok, ok… Kerala Café, by their own admission, appreciate that for many dyed in the wool Bradford Curry eating folks, the likes of dosa’s, vada’s, fish fry’s, etc. will mean nothing, and sometimes these dinners leave ultimately a little disappointed.  More fool them - just open your eyes please Bradford Curry lovers.

On our recent visit, banners hung in the café window declaring the offer of £5 lunch.  As intrigued as I was, I’d already set my heart on a dosa, but, luckily, having an easily bullied Grandpa’ with us, meant the lunch special wasn’t going to go un-sampled.

Grandpa’ is the ‘dye in the wool Bradford ‘type’ (he’s from Accrington really)’ that I alluded to above, and struggles with the prospect of something new, but did eventually relish the challenge and I think he was happy.  The £5 lunch special comprised a totally vegetarian meal with a big bowl of rice, chapatti and poppadum, with a small chickpea dish, and pickles of onion, carrot and something sour and pretty hot.  There was also a side dish of samba (like a staple vege curry), and also a sweet vermicelli dish.  There were loads of different flavours going on basically.  It was the kind of meal you see on the Travel Channel, served on a pressed steel tray.

All elements worked in harmony, and gave a full on flavour hit.  I will be tempted for next time.  

I thoroughly enjoyed my dosa – a rarely seen dish in Bradford.  It is one of my favourite dishes.  I went vege also, and my beautiful crispy on one side and soft of the other, slightly sour tasting dosa, was stuffed to the gills with potato masala.  The potato was well flavoured and seasoned but was not blow your head off hot.  

Izzy tried the Parippu Vada this time and loved them.  To my palate they were far tastier that the Uzhunnu vada sampled last time.  I’m now a vada convert and would order again.

The front of house guy was helpful and was happy to share appropriate dosa eating etiquete on request.  We were chatting, and he was about to tell us about the different types of Indian food, when the café suddenly started to fill.  He had to curtail his story, but we will look forward to hearing the full tale on our return.

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