Favourite, a well known Kottayam establishment since 2009, has just opened a new branch in Chungam, adding on to its eateries in Kanjikuzhy and Kakkanad.
Girish Mathai, the owner, is a highly experienced chef, who previously worked on a cruise liner before deciding to open up an Italian restaurant in his hometown. 'After I completed Hotel Management I worked for a while, but I knew the only way I would be able to come back to Kottayam is if I opened up my own restaurant,' he says candidly. Favourite is an entrepreneurial idea that has grown and is flourishing under Girish's care.
To make sure that Favourite upholds its reputation as a good restaurant, we tried out the new joint at lunchtime a day after it opened. For starters, we ordered chicken strips with a chilli garlic dip. The chicken was succulent and tender, the lightly fried batter giving it an extra crunch. The creamy garlic sauce gave it bursts of flavour. Some other popular starters are the mozzarella bread and bruschetta.
The Romano Pizza, made in the brand new wood fire oven at the Chungam branch, is a beef, jalapeno and mushroom pizza on a bed of mozzarella cheese. The beef is tender and well flavoured while the jalapenos are strong, but not overpowering. The bland flavour of mushroom contrasts the spice and prevents you from reaching for your glass of water.
The Beef Cannelloni is a treat and heavy. This Italian dish is made of minced beef wrapped in pasta which is then baked. It has a layer of melted cheese on top. The beef was well seasoned and tasty but the cannelloni was a little thick, almost like a pancake. The Beef Lasagna and vegetarian pizza's are also popular and tasty options for a main course.
The Tiramisu, an iconic coffee flavoured Italian dessert, consists of layers of cream and cake with a light dusting of cocoa powder on top. This is a heavy dessert so it is best had in small helpings.
When asked about the restaurants supply of stock and ingredients Girish says, 'Favourite tries its best to offer authentic Italian cuisine, and gets its ingredients from Bangalore, Kochi and Kottayam.' He tells us that, 'the restaurants in Kottayam are more family oriented, with 50% of its customers eating at the restaurant while the Kakkanad branch does more of home delivery.'
The pricing is reasonable and affordable, with a meal for 4 people coming up to a little more than a thousand rupees.
With the opening of its exceptional new branch it is safe to say that Favourite will continue to remain a favourite in all our hearts (and stomachs)