Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sulaimani 168, Thrissur - An Absolute Must Visit!

Thrissur is not too well known in the Kerala tourist circuit. There are places to see aplenty, sure, but it's not, thank god, attained a certain arty farty wannabe level. Yet, while one may lap up the small town ambience and sweet smiles of the locals, it is still highly rewarding to find, in such an unpretentious town, an eatery fit to charm the gods and win the blase heart of any globe trotter.

Almost every night we'd surf the Net for where to dine. That night we first set out on foot to Hotel Sapphire. It was nearby and reviews led us to think that we might have a tasty dinner there. Alas, they mainly had chicken/egg dishes. Nothing out of the way and snooty waiters. So we made our way out.

As we tried to hail an auto to take us some place else, we recalled a couple of rave reviews of Sulaimani.  My partner gave the automan some general directions and started telling me about the man after whom the place is named. I was sold on the place before even setting eyes on it!

As soon as you enter, you'll see a small but elegant display of Vaikom books. Vaikom Muhammad Basheer was a good friend of my partner's father. I look forwards to finding some translations of his writings, given how my partner described them: honest writing, vibrant...

The decor, the sultry Hindustani strains wafting unobtrusively in and out of consciousness, the service with the sweetest smile, the food, the whole package and, most of all, the food! 

I'm afraid I can only show you what we had: a meat dish and the most divine nool puttu. Because we're small eaters but I can assure you that I drooled over all the dishes being served to others and over how they were served. It's a must have experience.

But I'm getting ahead of myself! Let me first introduce you to the walls, the ceiling, the washbasin area, the restroom, this side and that, the place engulfs you in waves of art and literature - what is to the local the most exquisite nostalgia.

Though the place is small, it's accommodative, with a couple of the most exotic little private dining arrangements and there's always new customers coming in, waiting patiently for their turn.

Of course the very first thing we ordered was the Winey Sulaimani of which we'd read online and here's what it was!

beaded bubbles winking at the brim
A very gentle and refreshing glass of grape juice! Non alcoholic, of course, but, nonetheless very evocative of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat and all that jazz.

Let me leave you with a short stroll through the premises. As you enter to your right...

Go wash your hands before you dine...

After the Winey, you might like to visit the restroom...

Early in our visit to Thrissur, we were hanging out at the KTDC beer place and our companion was fantasising about an ideal place where creativity and good food would come together. I bit back telling him that, quite often, that of which we dream takes shape somewhere. And it does not necessarily feature us nor come to our notice.

As serendipity would have it, we got to visit Sulaimani 168 the night before we left, where art and good food wove an incredible magic over our senses.
I look forwards to more visits on future trips so's I can try out more things on their menu.

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