Toddy Shop by Marthanden Hotel
Toddy Shop is a celebration of home-style Keralan cooking. Co-owner Mischa Tropp (ex-Rochester Hotel, founder We Are Kerala) has spent a lot of time eating throughout south India, including the region’s widespread toddy shops – named for the sparkling, milky-white brew made from the fermented sap of toddy palms that’s served there.
The drinking dens have become equally known for their food, which is on full display here. Everything’s served on steel plates, from Tropp’s fiery fish nadan (a traditional and spicy fish curry) to okra pachadi, a yoghurt-based side dish similar to raita. Rotating mains have included dry pork or beef fry (pieces of meat cooked in lots of spices and their own juices). Plus, there are mainstays like kadala (a chickpea curry cooked with coconut and mustard seeds), Tropp’s mum’s cabbage thoran (stir-fried cabbage with coconut, turmeric and curry leaves) and flaky paratha flatbread.
As for the drinks, there are plenty of cocktails that incorporate Indian flavours including a boozy Darjeeling iced tea for two, as well as crisp lagers from Bangalore’s Kingfisher and Victoria’s Two Rupees Brewing to help temper the heat of the dishes.
Tropp co-owns the 20-seat diner with Michael Mabuti (co-owner Kariton Sorbetes, Askal). He wanted to create a place where the south Indian community could feel at home. The casual drinking den has dusty-pink and sage-green walls inside and out, black and white family photos, a portrait of Tropp’s grandma, and a record player spinning Indian disco.
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