Skip to main content

The House of Scrooge: Malabar House, Fort Cochin

Food Review

I must stress here, it was a solitary prawn tempura that sat there looking forlorn in my white soup bowl. It was then smothered with chilled tomato juice. The famed Gazpacho? Hardly. What was in front of me was defined by nothing but the blandness of tomato juice and more tomato juice. The mélange of garnishes held off. It occurred to me as I tried to savour the bowl of disappointment that the tomato juice should have been more appropriately used for a Bloody Mary and done with that.

There is something about soups that sets the tone of a meal. Most often it gently stirs the inner warmth, just a little to the level of comfort and adds the dash of expectation. That goes for both hot and cold soups. The Gazpacho in Malabar House, Fort Cochin robbed one of any expectations and comforts. So I gobbled the lonely prawn and then drank the tomato juice a little too dutifully.

Then came the spinach and mushroom lasagne. Quantity matters to me and even if I do not have the acumen for accuracy without a measuring tape- I will put the approximate size of the portion at 2 inch * 2 inch on a large empty plate. It had all the promise of an interesting bite. But where was the bite? It had disappeared in a whiff. Like a minuscule pill of lasagne.

The roast pork with a teaspoon of red cabbage and a teaspoon of white cabbage on the side or the Malabar seafood platter did not help either. We were done in exactly one minute. We had polished the meal in record shattering seconds.

I was increasingly adopting the attitude of Oliver Twist. The ambience sharpened into an atmosphere of stinginess. And you could feel it.

Remember those famous lines:

Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity:
"Please, sir, I want some more."
The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupefied astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.
"What!" said the master at length, in a faint voice.
"Please, sir," replied Oliver, "I want some more."
The master aimed a blow at Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arms; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.

I had already licked the fork clean but something stalled me from taking the extreme step of ordering a second lasagne. Another 2inch* 2 inch was not going to provide any solace. Wisdom set in. We skipped dessert and went to another restaurant and had a proper dinner.

Meal for two at Malabar House costs: Rs.2000 without drinks or dessert.


Popular posts from this blog

Free Masons: All about them

Free masonry- the 'spiritual society' of sacred brotherhood with its origins in antiquity has always been shrouded in mystery. Their initiation rites, rituals, symbolisms, secret signs and code of conduct have further enhanced the aura of mysteriousness. Is Free Masonry a remnant of an ancient religion that worshipped the Sun or is it just an exclusive, elitist boy's club that indulges in secret charity missions?
In 1961 the Grand Lodge of India, which is an off -shoot of the Grand Lodges of Scotland, England and Ireland was constituted. The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of India Mr.Arun Chintopanth was recently here in Kochi to preside over the meeting of the Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India. In an exclusive interview with the Grand Master sought to demystify the Masonic Lodge. Arun Chintopanth in full regalia. Dont miss the apron. What is Free Masonry? It is not a service organisation. It is not a religious group. It is not a mutual benefit society but it is a combi…

The Suryanelli Girl: Her Story

Suryanelli: The place of no sun. 
  Roofs weighed down by rock bags to keep the wind from blowing them away
Off the Kerala state highway that connect the small, brash towns giddy with foreign remittances, sits an unassuming, modest home that goes by the name: Lovedale. A septuagenarian couple, a retired postmaster and a retired nurse, live here with their younger daughter and, a ghoulish past that continues to taunt every waking moment of their lives. The 33-year-old daughter smiles shyly revealing an innocence frozen in time. 17 years ago, the daughter, then a 16-year-old girl, had left home wearing a skirt and a blouse to go to school and returned sexually violated and terribly traumatized: her transformation from a carefree school girl to a bloated individual was violently shocking. The girl had been kept captive, fed sedatives and alcohol, traded for sex and raped by 42 men in a span of 40 days in the months of January and February 1996. The family’s tryst with rapists, the police, …

Book Review: An Autobiography Of A Sex Worker by Nalini Jameela

I am 51 years old. And I would like to continue to be a sex worker.” This is how the candid and defiant opening statement in Nalini Jameela’s autobiography in Malayalam, Oru Lymgika-thozhilaliyude Atmakadha, goes. It at once throws a challenge at society’s double standards — harsh on prostitutes and soft on the clients. Nalini Jameela, who is the coordinator of the Kerala Sex Workers’ Forum, reveals her sordid story with no trace of compunction.
Nalini was a 24-year-old widow when she entered the profession to feed her two children. At that time she did not think about the repercussions of her act. She writes, “I was earning Rs 4.50 at a tile factory near Trissur. My mother-in-law served me with an ultimatum to either give her five rupees a day to look after my children or leave the house. I recounted my woes to a friend, who introduced me to Rosechechi. Rosechechi promised me Rs 50 if I spent time with a man. The first thought that came to my mind was that my children would be looked…