Kerala Kafe promises authentic Kerala taste in every food it serves. A venture by four women, the restaurant is set to make itself a place that serves a virtual home-made food under the supervision of the housewives turned restaurateurs. They have a set a standard for the preparation of each item with a touch of their marvelous Malayali hands guaranteeing an inexplicable taste and great contentment.
Four women, Asha Ashokan, Pushpa Prakashan, Hema Sajesh Nambiar and Ambika Murali came together to do business – a specialized restaurant that serves classic Kerala dishes. Kerala Kafe (KK) began its business modestly in November 2019 at Seawood, Navi Mumbai. Yet to become famous, KK has enough edge to make itself famous so long as the ethnic Malayalis cannot stop their temptation to taste their village food made by women. An average female migrant with typical Kerala background, especially if their spouse is well placed, may not easily think of entering into a business that wets their hands, demands intense labor work, needs overtime supervision, and also big money. That is exactly the business wherein the four women have developed enough skills, like most other housewives. Locking the talents down to remain mute within themselves is like giving up a great opportunity in life. One has to shed a snobbery to set out such a venture and vision to see it as the next big business. The four women have shown an adorable example of this.
They have admirably moved far from the shell and shadow of “suppressed” housewives and put together their skills to extend their routine works for an earning. In that process, they put in two capitals; one is the hard money that their husbands supported and the other is their own talent. The strong and well-tuned coordination among the four would also prove to be another precious capital. The business would thrive on the fast-changing public trend of eating-out and upon the promise of real Kerala taste in every dish that KK promises to serve. They make classic Kerala food, perhaps that even in the State itself people may not be able to find so easily in many places, where the new genre of names and mixes emerged. The four women, hailing from different districts from the north end to the south end of the Arabian coastal State, naturally bring in every plate a taste that would satisfy people still cherishing their nostalgia. Together they can serve food famous in different regions right from North Malabar to Southern Travancore in a single restaurant.
KK uses no artificial colour, no dressing up with unhealthy conflicting materials, no ready-made spices. For this reason, KK dishes maintain superior quality, taste and flavors to make everything natural and healthy. A passerby cannot miss a glance at the newly emerging landmark, because of the aroma of Kerala food. KK is careful about using edible oil. It uses only the finest quality coconut oil that traditionally lubricates every fries of Kerala origin. The oil leftover in the pan is not reused, unlike what most of the restaurants do, says the restaurant manager. The menu carries the varieties that would satisfy not only the natives but also the others. The entwined Parotta and appam with accompanying mesmerizingly aromatic vegetable curries, fish masala and chicken masala, all go well with the classic Kerala taste. Long sized banana packoda, dal vada and many more make the tea-time more rejoicing. “On order basis, we deliver various Kerala dishes at doorsteps,” says the restaurant manager. Of course, every success depends on how one sustains good and bad weather with a spirit of meeting challenges. All are prepared with high-quality materials. The masalas are prepared in the restaurant kitchen. Since there is a big space for a specialized Kerala restaurant in the sprawling Navi Mumbai, where the influx of middle and upper-middle-class families is strong, Kerala Kafe has a big opportunity to grow. More importantly, the team wants to make it a popular restaurant chain or supplier of authentic Kerala dish in Navi Mumbai over a period, if good support to their entrepreneurship is forthcoming.
They have made an investment of ₹ 8 lakhs for buying furniture, a full set of serving plates, cups and glasses, cutlery and kitchen appliances, furnishing, etc. It was after a few month’s trials of supplying foods on orders placed with them by some closely known people they took a decision to venture into it.
They found their erstwhile temporary arrangement insufficient to support their bigger dreams. In the initial stage, KK is planning to depend on the logistics of food supply aggregators. That would boost the volume, even if the margin is lower. The restaurant at present has a seating capacity for 30 guests. The number of footfall is increasing as the name of KK is slowly spreading around the area.