About 2 Km from our college,near technopark lies this little hotel called Ashwathi.Its basically a hole in the wall eatery that has become legendary in the region for its excellent TVM style meals.All the techies( several northies too) from Technopark come here,so do lots of students from my college and then there is the regular stream of locals.There were even talks of shifting the eatery inside of Technopark, its that famous.
The meals consist of rice with four basic curries ie sambar,pullisherry,meen curry, and parripu.You get three side dishes or thooku which has an achaar,a raita type dish and an avial.You also get pappadams,curd and buttermilk.But the clincher,people, is the fish fry and Kappa( Tapioca).The fish is dipped in a secret batter and deep fried to get a crip exterior and a just right inside.The batter crumbs make for an interesting side dish in themselves.Normally there are 2 or 3 fishes a day,but the regulars are matthi,churra,ayilla and kozhiyalla.My favourite is Matthi , which is served in threes.I start of with parripu or pullisherry, and proceed onto kappa,fish fry and meen curry.This combo coupled with a single omelette is a really tantalizing mix.I mix the Kappa with the rice and add meen curry,while the fish fry, batter crumbs and omelette serve as side.I am telling you it is something to be tried.I do, almost everyday.Most people follow it up with sweets from the store opposite to it, a habit i gave up when i put on braces.
Initially there was just this young guy and his son who did the servng,aided by two old men at the counters.The hands behind all this magic are of his invisible wife, to whom he barks orders of parcels at regular intervals.Lately two new waiters have joined the bandwagon.One used to be an auto driver who would do some serving to get a free meal.He soon gave up the other job and joined full time.The food is homely and you know its been made with dedication and care.Another thing that adds to the charm are the servile and efficient waiters, a dying breed in TVM.I first heard of the place from Luke,who told of a hotel that had excellent food at real low prices.I forgot about it later, but the interest was rekindled by some classmates who made a trip there.Soon i set off with Naveen but could not spot the place, and had to contend myself by eating someplace else.Again it was the Jimson-Eappen duo who located it and returned to tell everyone their exploits.Soon the hostel was addicted.
There are people who swear by its meals,myself included.You get the most powerful siestas after eating from here, God knows how many i have had to stifle, sitting in the period after the lunch.
PS: sometimes it worries me how I intimately describe my food habits, and how it fills me with glee.But other times it reassures me of my Gourmet-ness.