Saturday, August 9, 2014
A little behind the Music Academy, on TTK Road, this eatery has been a haunt for the displaced Malayalee ever since it opened about 30 years ago. I think it is a slight exaggeration to call it a restaurant, for it is a very basic operation. Tables, chairs, steel plates - maybe a few plain china plates as well - the waiters dressed as they please, no uniforms here, it gets to be about as authentic a Kerala experience as possible.
There are some outfits that try to keep up with their early clientele, growing old - 'evolving', if you will - with them. And then there are others that try to stay young, staying with their original reputation, forever attracting a new generation of patrons. That approach runs the risk of being branded 'downmarket', especially if the new generation considers their offerings too old-fashioned.
Kalpaka has probably got its act down well; their menu is just the standard, solid, regular fare, things that the Malayalee has been used to for maybe a couple of centuries. Aapam, the Kerala porotta, and the Kerala Syrian Beef Fry. These are comfort foods for the non-resident Keralite and there is still a regular inflow of them into the city, keeping Kalpaka in business - and true to its coconut oil roots!