South Indian Food Puts On A Hip Face At South High | All The Deets

By Mallika Dabke May 31, 2018
Image: https://www.instagram.com/1teaspoonlove/

I grew up eating food with a heavy South Indian influence. Any curry with a coconut base excites me, and I do dosas for breakfast at least three to four times a week. Despite my heavy intake of all edibles South Indian, I still love going out for this cuisine. I had heard of South High’s buzzing Kamala Mills outlet. Till then, I had never associated the word ‘buzzing’ with a South Indian restaurant, and South High’s entry into Kamala Mills’ hip scene elated me.

 

Recently, they opened a second outlet in Malad, so I visited them with a co-worker for a mid-week lunch. The spacious and colourful restaurant is architecturally a mix of South Indian inspired décor and modern pieces. We sat by a wall with a beautiful, large mural of a Kathakali dancer and the tone for our lunch was set.

To start off, we went through the drinks menu that had some exciting options. We went for the Chutney Mojito, a sweet and sour tamarind chutney based cocktail. It was great in concept, but could have been better, if the chutney, of a thick, syrup-like consistency, had not settled down at the bottom of the glass.

We also went for a chilled glass of Solkadi, which was unmissable! This popular drink from the Konkan Coast and Goa is made with coconut milk and kokum. Be wary, it’s not for every palate. While it is popularly a digestif, we drank it alongside our meal.

Our third drink of the afternoon was a Coorgi Mudslide, a drink made with rum, filter coffee and date syrup. I really enjoyed the way the different flavours played together in each sip.

 

We began our meal on with the Quick Gun Murugan Idli. Simple, buttery idlis tossed in gun-powder and ghee. The idlis were chopped up in fat pieces, so that every piece of every bite was loaded with flavour and ghee.

 

Next, we tried their famous Narukku Dosas which were taco style dosas stuffed with chicken keema. Although these were a little messy, I loved the combination of South American and South Indian techniques. For our final appetizer, we went for a spicy Iral Chettinadu. Fresh prawns were cooked in a coconut based Chettinad cream sauce. The prawns were plump and fresh, but the sauce they came in was on the spicy side. The spice was powerful, and at a point, it was too much gravy, and the prawns had disappeared.

 

For our mains, we ate Avial, a thick Kerala style vegetable stew that was served with soft and fluffy appams. The curry was absolutely luscious, and the flavour of the vegetables that had been simmered in the stew were so simple and flavourful! Admittedly, this was a rather safe order, and looking back, I probably should have done some experimenting.

Contrasting this bland dish, was our non-vegetarian main-course, the Meen Da Gassi with a portion of Neer Dosa. A large piece of Surmai fish was drowned in a thick and spicy gassi. The dish was tangy and rich, and full of delicious coconut flavour.

Finally, it was time for dessert! They have an enticing dessert section on their menu that features classics such as payasam and gadbad, but unfortunately, they told us they had none to serve. When we got up to leave, they came back with the news that the Bella Payasam was, indeed, available. This last minute, exciting news made us take our seats again. What we received was unlike any payasam I had personally had before. Flavoured with jaggery, this aromatic payasam consisted of moong dal, introducing us to an unexpected texture. We really enjoyed it but I don’t think we would order it again.

All in all, we had an interesting experience at South High. I had probably raised my expectations too high, and should not have fully trusted the inexperience of the staff running this newly opened outpost. While the Lower Parel outlet is more pumping, thanks to its location in Kamala Mills, the one in Malad was a lot slower. The food we ordered was simple and safe, not only because these were items we were familiar with, but because the staff couldn’t help us with recommendations when we asked.

I would definitely go back here for when I’m craving another South Indian fix however, I would give them a few more weeks to smooth out the kinks and get dessert going!