I’ve always been familiar with Delhi as my grandparents used to live here and we used to come here for holidays. But I started my formal innings living here in 1996 with my first job with Hotel Ashok as a Chef Trainee. There were five of us – Kishore Hedaoo, Vijay Nair, Jasbir Singh, Seemant Raju and Sanjay Dasari; the band of brothers, who used to stay in Gautam Nagar and we basically lived and enjoyed those carefree days together. One of our fond memories of Gautam Nagar was eating meals at South Cafe, a small place Kerala food in Delhi which’d opened in the same year as we’d shifted there
What I really liked about South Cafe back then and even now is that the they’ve manage to maintain the flavours of Kerala, while absorbing commercial and other pressures that would’ve come their way. Which I feel is quite commendable as at the same time I’ve seen better and older Kerala food places go down in quality or have changed their flavour profiles to suit the larger Delhi crowd
South Cafe – Tasty Kerala Food in Delhi
South Cafe’s a very well priced outlet, serving unlimited meals at ₹70. If I remember correctly, it used to be ₹20 or 25 in 1996. Their rates haven’t even kept pace with the inflation that’s happened over the years. The meals at South Cafe were always fab and we ‘d been briefly banned in between because we used to come and have a full days meal from that one unlimited meal. Four full sized helpings of rice at times 😊We were young lads with big appetites and little money in our pockets
Gautam Nagar has always been a place full of students and young working professionals on a budget and South Cafe has done well to cater to them. The secret to their success, I’ve realised is the use of local seasonal vegetables like Tinda, etc (which’s unheard of in Kerala) to replace traditional veggies of the cuisine, without compromising of taste or quality and this has helped them to serve decent Kerala food in Delhi
The non veg stuff they do is also fab and the Egg Roast that they do is quite tasty. Though the Buff and Chicken Roasts are nice too, a good Mutta Roast is a Mallu’s dream come true. South Cafe is a small space and not fancy at all. The plaster’s peeling off the walls in some spots and needs looking into, but the food though not outstanding, has remained consistent and has maintained an authentic flavour profile, over the years
Here’s the link to their Zomato page for more details
Happy hunting and chowder-on!!