As curtain goes up on the mother of all festivals, where the tallest of elephants, the finest of percussion artistes and the largest of awnings make a magnificent splendor, tourists are making a beeline for Thrissur to enjoy the wholesome grandeur of Pooram.
But what’s fun and frolic without food? Well, not to worry: the town houses a host of good restaurants too. Discover the soul of the city with these exquisite flavors.
Ila ada of Mani's
Hotel Mani's, a small, single-story restaurant near Sapna theater, serves home for some nostalgic memories for many Thrissurites, thanks to its super-soft ila ada, aka poovada, which has been a favorite among the town’s food connoisseurs. Although the stuffed rice cake wrapped in banana leaf is a seasonal snack prepared during Onam season, it’s served round the year in Mani's.
Special masala dosa, aka 'SP,' of Gopi Cafe
If you are craving crispy, spicy masala dosas while in Thrissur, don't hesitate to drive to Keeranmkulangara. Right amid the hustles and bustles of the city, you can find a board bearing the name 'New Gopi Cafe' - a small, conventional motel, flocked by loyal customers. The star attraction on the menu is SP – a specially prepared masala dosa, which always exceeds the platter size. A layer of generously coated red chilly chutney in the masala makes it special 'SP.' The stuffing is made spicier with ginger and green chilly. SP is served with a uniquely flavored onion chutney, sambar and other side dishes.
Vada-chai from Radhakrishna
'Uzhunnuvada,’ aka the Indian donut, is available in different sizes and flavors across the nation. But Radhakrishna Coffee Club has made it a point to make their vada-chai combo the best in town. For Thrissurites, a visit to the town is never complete without a chat around a plate of vadas and a glass of hot, frothing tea at Radhakrishna Coffee club. The restaurant may appear pretty small from outside but you'll be amazed at the large dining area spanning two floors inside. The urad vadas here are large in size, crispy, and peppery. Though many smaller restaurants in the area have tried imitating the 'Radhakrishna style vadas' lately, none of it tastes like the ones you get here.
The north Indian dinner of Bharath
There is a point in Chembottil lane, Thrissur, where the traffic block never ends. A smooth drive through this narrow lane remains a pipe dream to city dwellers. Well, the reason for the traffic snarl stands right across the road. Welcome to Hotel Bharath, the restaurant pioneers who got the town accustomed to north Indian cuisine.
Rotis, parathas and all kinds of north Indian breads along with side dishes are high on demand after 7 pm here. The rich, flavorful gravies served here are a delight to the taste buds of food lovers. Cardamom mushroom and chettinad gobi are two hot favorites.
If you pass by Thrissur with a growling stomach, hit this busy motel and stand behind a random table and wait to grab a chair as soon as someone gets up. Yes, patience – that’s the key.