Mallu Cafe Philadelphia Review

Mallu Cafe

10181 Verree Road
Philadelphia, PA 19116

Other Philadelphia Indian Restaurants
mallu cafe philadelphia
De Kitchun Veri Bizi Duday

Mallu Cafe Philadelphia - Soree Sir, De Kitchun Veri Bizi Duday; Nice Food

Of the scores of Indian restaurants in the U.S. that we’ve sanctified with our presence, Mallu Cafe (a restaurant specializing in Kerala cuisine) on Verree Road in Philadelphia is easily the most amusing and an endearing one too.

Almost each time we’d try to order a Kerala specialty, our friendly, sweetie pie, harried waiter Anoop, who hails from Thodupuzha near Kochi, would extend a sheepish smile and decline our request.

Here’s a snapshot of our conversation:

SI: We’d like to have the Weekend Thali.

Anoop (Mallu Cafe waiter): Soree sir, de kitchun veri bizi duday.

SI: We’d like to have Appam.

Anoop: Soree sir, de kitchun veri bizi duday.

SI: We’d like to have Theeyal.

Anoop: Soree sir, de kitchun veri bizi duday.

SI: We’d like to have Kadale Curry.

Anoop: Soree sir, de kitchun veri bizi duday.

SI: We’d like to have Semiya Payasam.

Anoop: Soree sir, de kitchun veri bizi duday.

SI: We’d like to have Fruit Salad.

Anoop: Soree sir, de kitchun veri bizi duday.

Mallu Challenge

Guess what?

Although we have a short fuse, we never got irritated with de kitchun veri bizi duday refrain.

We swear. Not in the slightest.

Not at Anoop.

And certainly not at Mallu Cafe, a hole in the wall operation that seemed to be doing a brisk business, both with takeout orders and the crowd inside.

We just found it too hilarious for words.

Mallu Cafe has a rundown look inside with just four booths and a couple of tables.

Now, we’re throwing down a challenge to all ye schmucks.

Find a funnier and nicer Indian restaurant in Philadelphia and we’ll take you out for dinner and pick up the tab as well.

Dare to pick up the gauntlet?

Persistence Pays, Really

Hey, whatever may be our follies, no one’s ever charged us with not being persistent enough. Right?

So despite the string of de kitchun veri bizi duday rebuffs we bravely soldiered on with Anoop in hopes of breaching the rock solid fortress of his veri bizi kitchun.

Perhaps weary of the SI fusillade on the battered citadel and sensing that further resistance was futile, Anoop waved the white flag and conceded to some of our requests for Kerala specialties like Avial, Parathas and Chicken Varatharacha.

Kerala Paratas are a must, of course. And we did not hesitate one nanosecond before ordering them at Mallu Cafe.

The multi-layered Kerala Paratas (2 for $1.99) landed on our table hot and, boy, were they tasty.

How can you not order Avial, the much acclaimed Kerala vegetables medley, and still lay claim to a sane mind.

Since we’ve always prided ourselves on our sanity, the hordes of naysayers notwithstanding, we eagerly sought what the bad photocopy of Mallu Cafe’s menu describes as Tropical Vegetables Cooked in Coconut Sauce. In other words, Avial ($6.95).

Avial was thick in texture, not the yellowish gravy-ish kind you get at other places, say like at Uduppi Dosa House in nearby Bensalem.

While Mallu Cafe’s Avial was delicious, we were a wee bit disappointed because our palate has calcified to spicier versions and won’t settle for less.

Ritha and Pickle, Bring Ritha on

Since we were famished, we also asked for a Vegetable Biryani.

The bad photocopy of the menu promised that the Biryani would come with Ritha and Pickle on the side.

‘Ritha and Pickle’ on the side with their hot hint of mischief sounded jolly exciting given that Mallu girls ooze sex appeal and have a won’t-you-come-into-my-boudoir-and sample-my-wares look forever pasted on their faces.

As we conjured fantasies of a Renjitha-like Ritha coming out bearing a heaving bosom, a sweating face and a steaming Biryani with Hot Pickle, our Biryani arrived with, sob, sob, Anoop bearing the plate.

Alas,our Ritha had morphed into Raitha in the short distance from the kitchen to the dining room.

Our libido cooled, we consoled ourselves by stuffing big heaps of the delicious Biryani with the Pickle and Raitha (cold substitute for the hot Ritha) into our mouths.

Varatharacha Nirvana
What’s a meal without some meat on the side?

So we plumped for the Chicken Varatharacha Curry.

Yes, we know it’s impossible for anyone born outside God’s Own Country to pronounce Varatharacha but take our advice and just say voluptuous.

Now voluptuous would really be an apposite synonym for Varatharacha.

Described in Mallu Cafe’s menu as Chicken Cooked in Roasted Coconut Sauce and promised by the ever-smiling Anoop that it was an authentic Kerala specialty, we gave the green light.

Chicken Varatharacha Curry, here we come.

By golly, we came just as the first taste of the Chicken Varatharacha Curry hit our tongue.

And we came and came till we could come no more.

A deep-reddish brown medium thick gravy containing cooked Chicken (with bones) and Red Chilli pieces, Chicken Varatharacha Curry must be what Shiva of Lingam fame must be having for those special nights on the cold Mount Kailash with his hot item-girl Parvati.

Spicy but not obscenely spicy, Chicken Varatharacha tasted great with the Kerala Paratha and equally pleasing with the Vegetable Biryani.

Stuffed to the gills, we texted a prayer of thanks to Ayyappa, the favorite god of Hindu Keralites for the nice meal. De Kitchun Veri Bizi Duday notwithstanding.

Waid, Bleaze Waid

We forgot to tell y’all about our side dish Kappa (Yucca/Tapioca), another Kerala specialty.

A yellowish, pasty-textured baked dish seasoned with turmeric, mustard, curry leaves and a hint of garlic, Kappa was a first for us. And most certainly flavorful. We had so much of it that we packed the leftovers Kappa-overs and enjoyed it the next day too.

Nice Fella

Like a plucked chicken with its feathers flying all around, our waiter Anoop was a flurry of action. He was a whirlwind of movement, running hither, thither and yonder in an insane burst of energy.

Indian restaurants in the U.S. are notorious for their poor service. Particularly, toward Indians.

How nice to see a smiling bloke like Anoop for a change!

When we asked for Masala Chai, he gave us a bewildered look and with a quick I viI jeck inside vanished.

With De Kitchun veri bizi duday, we were unsure of our Chai. But Anoop returned five minutes later with a cup of hot Masala Chai bearing a nice cinnamon and cardamom flavor but slightly high on milk.

At peace with the world, we heaved ourselves from our booth for the long drive home.

As we were paying the bill at the counter, Anoop apologetically explained about the hivy kitchun oders begos of Easter Fasting and dold us: You bleaze cohm oon Wednesday sir I dake cair of you nizely.

Malli Cafe Rating - Go for It, Bleaze

We strongly recommend Mallu Cafe.

You can be sure we’re going to make this our port of call again soon.

Holy cow, the restaurant also has beef items like Beef Curry, Beef Fry and Beef Masala on their menu.

Kerala restaurants are a rarity in the U.S. Swami Saranam, may their tribe increase.

During our short stay at Mallu Cafe, there were a total of 17 diners and eight takeout orders.

But before you head out to Mallu Cafe in anticipation of a nice Kerala meal, bleaze call ahead and check if the de kitchun veri bizi duday - ©

Related Content:
Making of Chicken Varutharacha Curry

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