Whilst looking for a lunch destination in the neighbourhood, I chanced upon Swaadhisht, a no-frills restaurant which serves food from the Kerala region in India. The scent which is used for the restaurant takes a bit of getting used to, but once the food comes the aroma of the food will take one's mind away from that.
We tried the Palak Paneer ($7.50). This is not a south Indian dish and the version served here is also different. For one, the spinach was not mashed up and so there was some mix of leaves together with the blocks of Indian cottage cheese. It was tasty, except that one has to look out for the occasional green chili paddi that roams around which may give you a rude shock when bitten, yet another modification to the traditional north Indian dish.
I also tried the Malabar Meen Curry ($9). Whilst it was recommended by the waiter, this is a fish curry which I felt did not stand out. Unlike the typical fish curries, there was no sour after finish and hence the dish tasted more like chilli fish as the curry flavours did not stand out. It did not help that some of the fish had a "fishy" after taste.
My favourite dish of the afternoon though had to be the Malabar Goat Meat Briyani ($16). The rice here is unique in that saffron is not used. But do not expect anything light as ghee is used to ensure that it is still a heavy dish. The goat meat was tender and well marinated.
Overall, whilst the portion may be small, expect to be stuffed as the food tends to be on a heavy side. A tea, or two, after the meal would certainly help here.
Service is friendly, what one would expect from a typical restaurant.