Aangan Downtown Restaurant Review

Let me begin with this: I feel like I have found treasure near my house. Having been a part of a Facebook group ‘Eat Kochi Eat’, I kept seeing great reviews about Aangan Downtown Restaurant and had added it to my must visit eateries list. If you have read my earlier posts, you’ll know that I love making lists!

Last month was Amma’s birthday and since my sister wasn’t in town, we decided to give Amma a surprise dinner whenever my sister got back. We also had fund constraints. So eventually, even if it was late, we arranged for some cash and made a quick plan. I was entrusted with choosing the restaurant since I keep listing the eateries I want to visit. Besides, I am always crying about the mouth-watering posts in the FB group.

We reached Aangan Downtown which is at Palarivattom. It isn’t at the main road and hence not very visible. If you are someone who goes by first impressions, the moment you enter, you’ll love the place. The ambiance and the staff were very welcoming. They showed us to our table and suggested some of their specials.

I am enlisting the dishes we had for the ease of reading them:

  1. Soups – Have you ever felt that soup sort of decides your appetite? It is like a performance. If it starts well, it compensates for tiny flaws later on. But if starts bad, you really don’t look forward to anything that comes later.a) Cream of Vegetable Soup -Before I get onto this, I need to tell you about my Grandmother (Ammamma). She is an amazing cook! She is a tough critic and I rarely find her appreciating restaurant food. I guess you know where this is going. She absolutely loved the soup. Her exact words, if translated, would read, “I don’t think I have had a soup this delicious ever. It wasn’t spicy, but it sure was creamy with the right flavors!”
    There is a saying in Tamil, ‘Vasishtar Vayaala Brahmarishi nu Sonna‘. Vasishta is a sage and it is astounding when he mentions another sage in a good manner. (Dear Tamilians, I am really sorry for screwing up the explanation 😛 But you get it right?)b) Naadan Kozhi Soup –

    Naadan Kozhi Soup from Aangan Downtown Restaurant
    Naadan Kozhi Soup

    Which is Kerala chicken soup as prepared with the countryside flavor. Oh my! It was spicy in a good way with flavors that tickled our taste buds. It was quite watery with ample chunks of chicken. If you are looking for something thick and creamy, this one isn’t for you. But, I’d say the naadan kozhi soup is something you should never miss. 😀 By the end of it, I was eagerly waiting for everything we ordered.

  2. Starters – We ordered Chicken 65 and Gobi 65. Well, the choices were too many, we needed both Veg and Non veg and so settled for these. Again, they were really good. They were the kind of ’65’s you get in any good restaurant. No extra flavors.  Crispy Gobi and well seasoned chicken with lots of crispy curry leaves. I am a fan of curry leaves. When they happen to adorn something really delicious, I ensure that the plate is empty. So we did. 😀
  3. Main course –  Our expectations had reached sky high after the starters and the soup that we took a while to decide the main course. There were so many options, high expectation and too less space. If only we could borrow some tummy space from someone 😛
    After much deliberation, we landed on:a) Paneer Kizhi Biriyani for the beautiful lady aka Grandma :* – I did try a morsel and wasn’t very impressed mainly because I am not a fan of the tinge of sweet in normal dishes. Plus, it was a bit too bland for my taste.

    Paneer Kizhi Biriyani from Aangan Downtown
    Paneer Kizhi Biriyani

    b) American Chopsuey – It was served well with a fried egg on top. It was saucy and crispy and yum in the beginning. But as I mentioned earlier, the tinge of sweet began to over-power with each morsel. On the other hand, Mom just loved it! So, I’d say the dish was perfect, just changes with each person’s taste. 🙂

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    American Chopsuey

    c) Chicken Steak – Ooh lala! It was very soft, rich in flavour, steaming hot and with the right amount of vegetables on the side. It was a sure winner for the remaining three of us.

    Chicken Steak from Aangan Downtown
    Chicken Steak

Once we were done with our meals, when Ammamma was about to get up to wash her hands, the staff enquired if she needs a finger bowl. It was a very nice and thoughtful gesture. Not only were the staff friendly, but the owner too came up and had a little chat with us. Overall, a foodie-friendly place! 🙂

Summary:
Food – Too Good (4.9/5)
Ambience – Excellent (5/5)
Pricing – Our bill was Rs. 1200 for 4 which is very reasonable for Cochin standards, the food, the service and the amount we hogged.
Location – Palarivattom, Kochi (Click for the Location on Map)
Favorites – Both Soups and Steak

Aangan - Downtown Multicuisine Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chopstix, Thai & Chinese

My mom is very fond of Chinese cuisines. If given a choice, she always opts for Chinese restaurants to dine out; Chiyang, Malaya etc being her favorites. However, I am not very fond of Chinese food and so, like every mother on Earth, she lets me choose.

When my friend came home a few months back, we decided to try Chopstix – a restaurant at Palarivattom, Kochi. We like the place and the food and so I decided to bring Amma here some day. After months & months of waiting, we got the chance to visit Chopstix again.

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As we ascended the stairs to the restaurant on the first floor, a metal embossing of Budhha, placed on the stair walls, caught my eyes.

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The restaurant had one side made of glass, giving a view of the urban streets. Apart from the fact that you could know when the traffic at the signal nearby clears (which is very given the rush), it gave a retro ambience. I have always loved that part of the city. The area of Civil line road stretching from Palarivattom circle to the signal. It is almost always crowded due to the signal, but beautiful due to the abundance of greenery. When it is before or after the days, Man! Isn’t it beautiful? Watching it from the first floor, slurping on hot soup would be perfect!

As the name suggests, chopsticks were placed on every table with directions on how to hold them. Every inquisitive person who walks through that door would read the instructions and try to use them. So did we. Until the waiter arrived to take the order, we mastered the art of holding chopsticks and tried our best to make the two ends of each chopstick meet. That was easy. The tough part was picking things using them. My sister managed to lift a fork off the table using chopsticks. 😀

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Okay. One stick done, next done, Oops! How was the first?
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That’s the way Aha Aha! Or is it?

We ordered Manchow soup, Schezwan chopsuey and crab fried rice. The soup was thick, creamy and rich unlike in most of the places. If you like things spiced up, you must give manchow soup a try.

When we enquired about the chopsueys, they said American was sweet, Chinese was bland and Schezwan was spicy. However when they brought it, Schezwan was spicy but also sweet. It was alright since I liked the flavor. But if you can’t stand sweet in spicy food, you shouldn’t go for it because halfway through the meal, the sweetness begins to overpower everything else.

The crab fried rice tasted similar to normal veg fried rice with chunks of fried crab.  As we finished our food, we were on the lookout for drinks to order and Jasmin tea caught my attention. I wanted to give it a try, but was skeptical about the quantity of tea that would be given. It said a Jasmin tea pot was priced at Rs 90 and we weren’t sure if we would be able to drink it all.

Since they didn’t have much options for drinks, we decided to give it a try. With the first sip, I had mixed feelings. For one, the scent of fresh jasmine flowers was strong and it was queer tasting jasmine flavor after years of smelling it. I liked that part. But the fact that there was no sugar, made me uneasy. With a few more sips of hot jasmine tea, I began to like it and didn’t bother asking for sugar. The liquid was clear and watery with a slight tint of green.

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Jasmin Tea and Tea pot

The pot had tea for six. Since we are generally tea and coffee lovers, having two cups is no biggie. Besides the cups were super-cute and tiny with no handles. I wonder if it’s a Chinese thing. The restaurant closes at 3.30 PM but the staff were patient with us. Once the place was devoid of customers and it was ten to four, we realized that we were holding them back. We drank the tea quickly, apologized, thanked them and took our leave.

PS -If you are wondering where the images of food in the food review post are, we were busy hogging that the dishes were half empty before I realised that I had to take pictures. Hence the compensatory pictures were taken afterwards 😛

Chopstix Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato