The spicy beef roast at Vattakuzhikkal kallushaap (toddy shop) in Kalluvaathukkal, Kollam enjoys quite a fanfare among foodies. But it tastes best when downed with a swig of toddy, fresh and faintly sweet – loyalists of this haven of traditional recipes will tell you. Despite its toddy-shop label, families make a beeline to Vattakuzhikkal because of the guarantee about taste and the welcoming environs.
The eatery is much like a multi-starrer blockbuster movie, leaving visitors spoilt for choice with its elaborate menu. Non-veg dishes include preparations of beef, chicken, duck, and other meat and a mouthwatering seafood spread with hot favourites like crab curry, fish head curry, and tapioca (kappa-meenthala curry). You can also order a traditional 'sadya' with sambar, aviyal, thoran, inchi curry, pachadi, pulisseri, rasam, olan, and payasam for dessert. There's something for everyone at this 'shaap' which is exactly what makes it a popular eatout.
Beef roast is undoubtedly the star attraction at Vattakuzhikkal. What's more, the 'shaap' follows a Goan recipe to prepare their popular dish. Regulars as well as fans who stop at Kalluvathukkal solely to have the beef roast insist that the dish is the USP of the shop. Cooked in a spicy coconut-based gravy, the liberal amount of small onions (shallots) used in the curry lend it the buttery texture and rustic flavour.
Ask the Vattakkuzhikkal team about the secret to their mouthwatering recipes, and they attribute it to the slow cooking done on traditional wood-burning stoves. Though quite close to the highway, it is located at a quiet spot. The clean surroundings and pleasant ambience are also a reason why families keep returning to this unassuming eatery. The small open huts for visitors ensure that you relish the food in peace.