Ask anyone in Calicut or anyone going to Calicut about Sagar and they will tell you it’s one of the most familiar names associated with Kozhikode aka Calicut! Hotel Sagar is also ranked at #3 in the To-Do at Calicut List in Lonely Planet.
So when they decided to open up a branch in Cochin it was imperative that we go there at the earliest. They had opened up three days ago and I had heard from quite a number of people that ‘Sagar’ had finally arrived. So off we went.
The branch at Cochin is a replica of the structure at Calicut. Situated right opposite ‘The International’, it has an Air conditioned family hall and a non Air conditioned dining area. They have plans to open up the first floor once they are settled for good:). Well I went along with dad and three of our friends. I knew it had to be them that i went with coz they had been to ‘The Original’ and knew what to order!The restaurant is not open for Lunch though they do allow takeaways (only biriyani for lunch). Parking is spacious and they have valet parking too.
The ambiance is neat(till date) and the waiters are a real pleasant lot. They know how to deal with impatient and demanding customers with a smile so genuine that you will be forced to pay a tip and wait. Coming to the food, the menu was not ready yet. It still isn’t and will not be till this weekend. The gracious waiter said they have:
- Sweet Corn Veg/ Non VegSoup
- Parotta (Paratha)
- Chicken Biriyani
- Fried Rice
- Chicken Curry
- Fish Masala
- Prawn Fry
- Chilli Chicken
- Chicken Dry Fry.
Dad was not in a mood to eat so he had the sweet corn soup while we ordered Biriyani, Prawn Fry, Chicken dry fry, chicken curry, fish masala and chappathi. The soup came promptly and the food followed without any delay. The soup was okay, a bit salty. The chappathi, according to me was processed chappathi and was not freshly made. The biriyani had a taste that was different from any biriyani I had eaten. Not exactly in a nice way. Apparently they make the special Biriyani Masala at the house of the owner in Kozhikode and transpport it everyday to Cochin. The Biriyani was not spicy, it had a distinguished garam masala added to it. They call it their ‘Secret Biriyani Formula’. We did warn them that the cochinites are not going to fall for it at all. The chicken curry was wasted coz it had a plush of tomatoes and only its tangy taste stood out surpassing spices, saltiness,sweetness and all that. The fish masala was nice and the only dish worth going back for. The biggest shock was the prawn fry had a nice coconut and masala combination which was really nice until they billed us Rs 200 for 6 small pieces of prawn!!!!
Overall the five of us ate for Rs. 820 which is not exactly a bad deal but not worth for the food they gave us. I must admit that I will go there again in one month’s time just to see if they have improved and if this was because they did not yet have a fully functioning kitchen. That is for time to tell. Which leaves me to give the MAD VERDICT.
Location: Prominent and easily accessible.
Ambience: Neat and well lit.
Food: As of now a shame for ‘The Original’.
Service: Excellent and prompt service.
Mad points: 2/5.
- Go after awhile and after you have heard they have settled down.
- Tip the waiters in uniform. The owners also take orders for now so do not mistake and tip them instead!