It was almost noon when we reached the ‘Vaidyar’s kada’, a small restaurant at Muhamma, Alappuzha. Absolutely a nondescript place, shade has been drawn at its entrance to beat the scorching sun. A couple of tables and chairs were haphazardly arranged at what seemed like the portico of the house. Other than these, there’s nothing to show that it is actually a restaurant, especially a well – known restaurant considered to be a haven for seafood in Kerala.
Contradicting my first impression about the place, the bearer came to serve us with a wide smile and a big plate full of different fish fries cooked in Kerala style.
Later, we came to know that the place is actually an extension of another restaurant called Hotel Smitha which is popularly known as ‘ Vaidyar’s Kada’. It was an arrangement made to accommodate the people who could not be filled in Hotel Smitha.
We had a tough time choosing from the varieties of fish fries from the big plate that was placed in front of us. As our sole aim was to eat, we decided to go for most of them except clam fry only because it slipped out of our minds. To speak about the food, they had Pearl Spot fish fry, Tiger Prawn, shrimps, crab roast and what not.
We started off with ‘Karimeen mappas’, a curry made with pearl spot fish. It is spicy and tangy and is best enjoyed with steaming brown rice. At the same time, they also serve you vegetable dishes such as beetroot curry, ‘ payar (brown peas) thoran’ and ‘ inji curry ’ made of ginger, considered as best for digestion. They come along with the rice.
To relish most of the curries, just have a little rice. Otherwise, you would end up either wasting the rice or would have to leave without tasting the dishes served. Too much of rice and that too, Kerala rice could fill your tummy in no time.
Nevertheless, I felt the experience would have been wonderful if they had served the food in real banana leaf ( that was a paper material in the shape of banana leaf on which they served food ).
After taking considerable time to relish the meal, I finished it off with a glass full of buttermilk.
I did not know then, that ‘ Pathiramanl ’ island was just a few meters away from the restaurant.
Pathiramanal means ‘ the Sands of the nights ’ is a small uninhabited island in the Muhamma Panchayat, Alappuzha. From Muhamma boat jetty which is near to Vaidyar’s kada, the island is just 1.5 km away. We took a small boat to reach the island. They offer boat ride for Rs 500.
A haven for bird watchers, the island is in the Vembanad lake. Thick and dense and sprawled over 25 hectares of land, it is full of plants with medicinal properties.
When we reached, there were already a group of people to give us company. The island could be easily covered by foot and when you reach the other end of the island, the view of houseboats afar in the Vembanad lake would be an open invitation for a houseboat stay.
Since it is not inhabited and sans accommodation, it would be ideal to leave the place by 6 pm. And if you really need to enjoy the island under the moonlit sky, I would suggest a houseboat stay near to the island in the night would be a wonderful experience.
I have already put that on my bucket list. After spending a few hours, we returned by a speed boat and that was a ‘ WOW’ experience.
- Nearest railway station – Alappuzha, about 16 km
- Nearest airport – Cochin International Airport, about 85 km north of Alappuzha
” Have you ever been to a Kerala restaurant serving seafood dishes ? What was your experience ?”