How are you? Hope you had a cracking weekend and that all is well in your part of the world. In the spirit of keeping my posts as punchy as possible (this now includes restaurant reviews too), I wanted to let you know about this fabulous eatery I discovered last week. I’ve never tasted Keralaean cuisine before, so it was novel way to spend the evening holed up in a lovely restaurant.
We stumbled upon it in after a shopping trip in Nottingham city centre (one of my favourite cities to shop in) and after declining a dinner at Piccolino’s (more on that in a later blog post), we wound up at Kayal. Looks can be quite deceiving, because you’d be forgiven for thinking that Kayal is on the small side. The place is like that magical wardrobe to Narnia, because once you get towards the back, it opens out into a pretty, expansive space. The ambience is definitely unique; sepia tones, honeyed lighting and wooden décor made the whole place feel cosy without being cloying. We bagged window seating overlooking the high street which is just peachy, because I love indulging in a spot of people-watching.
The menu is quite extensive and nearly all of the starters sounded amazing, so it was with great difficulty I managed to place an order. I kicked off with Kayal Soup, a hot and spicy concoction of mixed seafood, coconut milk and a flurry of cumin, curry leaves and mustard (also very moreish). For mains, I had Varutharacha Kozhi and Poori (creamy chicken curry and fried bread). The Dude jumped right onto his main. He went for the Chef’s signature dish of Cheera Erachi and Chapathi (lamb curry and bread). Cooked in spinach, aromatic spices and onion, it was a heavy albeit tasty dish. Now, the food was nice. Hell, the poori was deliciously light, puffy and crisp (I’m still dreaming of it and may have to venture into town soon to get my fix). What really did it for me, was the customer service.
If you happen to go to Kayal, look out for Tony, because if he’s your server, you’re in good hands. From entering the restaurant, to leaving, we received top notch customer service from the whole team. A friendly face and a smile go a long way and the serving team at Kayal were courteous, polite and efficient. One thing I will say, is that quite a few Indian restaurants don’t pay attention to the washroom facilities. Kayal need to look into the upkeep of this area, because that was the only niggle I had with this otherwise ab fab restaurant. Other than that, it was a wonderfully different and interesting dining experience, good for dates and parties alike. Open an impressive seven days a week, they also do really cool lunches starting from a pocket-friendly £3.95. And if it’s good enough for Paul Hollywood and the Hairy Bikers (former patrons of this quaint joint), who am I to complain? They even have a special Easter menu so there’s no reason not to visit. For a treat or exquisite pick-me-up, get down to Kayal, I promise you won’t be disappointed.