When Ms Loly Malvin invited us for the inauguration of this quaint restaurant located in Bakery Junction, Thiruvananthpuram, little did I know that I would end up being a patron. The place is decked up to give us the feel of a rustic old ‘chayakkada’ – tea shop, but with the added comfort of air conditioning and enough spacing between the seating arrangements. The joint sports a homespun ambience with a billing desk to the left of the entrance and classic old benches and desks replacing a few tables and chairs.
Edaneram started off as a space that opened only by dusk, serving snacks and refreshments along with hot beverages like tea and coffee, staying true to its name! Edaneram/ Idaneram literally translates to an interval, thus nibbles were their USP. But in a one-year time frame, they had expanded as a restaurant offering not just snacks, but also lunch and dinner. Their menu was heavily influenced by the Syrian Christian cuisine and celebrated beef, chicken and seafood equally. I never got a chance to savour the ‘Achayan meals’ they offered for lunch but did hear rave reviews about it. My visit was always to have glasses of hot and strong ‘chaya’ accompanied by either Ela Ada (a sweet, steamed tea-time snack, jaggery and coconut enclosed in a dough made of rice flour), Kozhi Pidi ( rice dumplings cooked in coconut milk mixed with spicy chicken gravy), Ellum Kappayum (tapioca and spicy beef with bones cooked together), or any of the Puttu combos they offered.
My choice depended heavily on my mood and not hunger, but I saw myself ordering Puttu combo more than any other item on the menu. Their chemmeen (prawn) puttu / Pothu (buff) puttu combo topped my chart. A portion of cheratta puttu (puttu steamed in a coconut shell) with a side of the same prawn/ buff masala that is used to layer the puttu with is served to you for a price of Rs.140/-. All combos come with one pappadom as well. The puttu was consistently soft and the roasted, caramelised masala of the accompaniment was in contrast with the sweetness of the coconut.
There has never been a single visit of mine to Edaneram where I have stopped at one Chaya, a minimum of two glasses was my count. I love them for taking extra care to customise the tea to my liking, strong, sugarless, and extra sugar to be provided so that I could sweeten my drink to my taste. There are so many tea options to choose from, Ayurveda tea, black tea, black cardamom tea, normal tea, ginger tea, lime tea etc.
Have always loved this place for staying vocal for local while serving quality food! The pricing is definitely on the higher side compared to the small shops serving local delicacies, but one should always look into the overheads as well, more staff, air conditioning, and of course, maintenance. As long as the shops don’t loot you for the services they provide, restaurants like Edaneram will triumph!