The Vellakanthari restaurant at Mulavukad, Ernakulam could aptly be called a fish lover’s paradise. The eatery serves more than 30 fish delicacies, and those too for reasonable prices. Fried fish roe, crab stir fry, squid stir fry, silopi roast, clam roast, prawns fry, prawns momos, fish thoran, anchovies stir fry, beef roast, beef fry, beef chaps, chicken chintamani, mackerel fry, fish in coconut gravy….the list seems endless at Vellakanthari!
Lunch is truly a feast here as one can relish these fish delicacies with a bowl of piping hot rice. The spices are prepared in the traditional way and pure coconut oil is used to cook everything here. That must be the reason why foodies from all over the world throng this restaurant to enjoy the authentic taste of Kerala’s sea food. The regular lunch served on banana leaf is a hit too. The sambar made in coconut paste is a specialty here. Prawns gravy, pulissery and buttermilk flavored with crushed bird eye chili make the perfect accompaniment for the regular lunch. For breakfast, appam, puttu, vellayappam, chapathi and idiyappam are available with 3 varieties of curries.
The Vellakantari became so popular when some food lovers posted pictures of some of the dishes served here on social media. Many politicians and leading cine stars are frequent visitors at this restaurant.
“No compromise should be made on the quality of food,” says John, the owner of Vellakantari, about the secret of the incredible success of his restaurant. A former expatriate, John never imagined he would own a hotel one day. This suave and sophisticated restaurant which serves authentic Kerala cuisine was originally a small ‘kanji kada’(shop which served rice gruel) run by John’s mother-in-law.
When John opened the restaurant years ago, only sardine fry and clam stir fry were served for lunch. But the menu at the restaurant became as long as the line of customers who come to relish the sea food. The authentic taste and flavours are the unique factors which help Vellakantari remain one of the major sea food destinations in Kerala.
The fish roe and crab meat thoran are the most popular dishes on the menu at Vellakantari. The fresh crab meat and grated coconut is stir fried to perfection in coconut oil to prepare the crab meat thoran.
Chicken chintamani is prepared by sauteing chicken pieces with thinly cut shallots in coconut oil, and the aromatic spices added to it elevates the flavour of the dish.
The hotel is close to John’s house and a few huts are constructed outside the restaurant for the customers to enjoy the meal. It was his wife who suggested the name ‘Vellakantari’ for the restaurant as they wanted a unique name which would attract the attention of food lovers.