Are you someone who drools at the sight of fresh fried fish wrapped in the aroma of spicy, masala and lip-smacking flavours? Then, Mubarak hotel is a must try for you! If you live in or at least visit Trivandrum, then this is one of the spots you must not miss if you are a fish lover! No wonder Mubarak hotel is popularly known as the ‘Meen Kada’! This iconic fish lover’s paradise leaves you spoilt for choices the moment you step into it!
The Origin Of An Eatery That Captured The Heart Of Fish Lovers!
Salahudeen, with his winter white hair and angelic smile, has years of experiences to share. He grew up in an impoverished family far away from the bustling city, near the old airport area at Vallakadavu. They were a family of nine siblings, out of which three are no more. He was the sixth son of a depleted family that was forced to send him to work at a young age at an eatery located at Vembayam. Thus, little Salahudeen started learning the basic lessons of running a restaurant successfully from the age of twelve. This experience, combined with his good will and a heart of gold that strives hard to serve finger-licking good food is the prime reason for the success of this iconic eatery.
The Tale Of Salahudeen, The Man With Magic Hands!
Salahudeen can always be seen scurrying around in the little restaurant that is engulfed in the aroma of fresh fried fish. He can be easily mistaken as one of the workers of the iconic hotel whose rustic old gates boasts of long 25 years of serving food and winning hearts of Trivandrumites. He personally checks each fish that is brought to his shop and ensures that his customers are only served the best. The powder-white hair and time chiselled face looks up with eyes that speak of love for food and serving others letting out a little secret, did you know that this hotel was named Mubarak just 25 years back? Earlier, it was called “Chettakada.” People in secretariat still call the shop by the same name. He gushed with gleaming eyes that fondly remembered the age-old presence of his iconic shop.
Why Only Fish?
We enquired to him why he chose only fish, that too fried fish as the main item in his restaurant, he shrugs his shoulder and replies with gleaming eyes that fish is one of the most loved food by whole Kerala! Coming to think of it, he sure has a point there! Majority of the people living in areas like Kozhikode, Kottayam, Thaliparambu, Kasargod, and Thalassery are fish lovers! They cannot imagine having food without the accompaniment of fish, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Sourcing Fresh Fish
Salahudeen goes an extra mile to ensure that all the fish sourced at his restaurant are fresh! He only buys fish from the beaches at Vizhinjam, Kanyakumari and Valiathura. He also gets it once in a while from Neendakara. The fish is ensured to be fresh, and he always makes it a point to make sure that it arrives on time to be cooked fresh and served on a daily basis. Some restaurants get fishes that arrive from places like Goa or Andhra Pradesh. These are all sprayed all over with chemicals that are usually used for sprinkling on corpses to stop it from rotting! Though the authorities also know it well, still they turn a blind eye to it as they look for financial gains more. Hence, compared to such hotels, Mubarak certainly stands tall, proud of the legacy it holds.
The Cheena Chatti Secret!
He confides that his secret to the lip-smacking fish fries is that he cooks them only in big ‘cheena chattis’ (Chinese hollow pans). Just check out any other restaurant, they fry their fish in those flat frying pans with nonstick coatings. They also keep using the same oil repeatedly for frying fish. This makes the fish lose its flavour and taste. We ensure the quality of our fried fish by changing the oil on a regular basis so that the masala does not get sapped in the oil and change the flavour. Moreover, making use of used oil is also harmful to health! He says beaming with pride. We can’t help but agree more!
Delighted Cooks Cook Delicious Food!
Salahudeen also knows to keep his cooks and staff well cared of and happy by fitting four large air-blasters. It ensures that the kitchen remains airy, and the smells do not linger in the room. The well-ventilated rooms also keep the cooks happy as they need not cook inside hot rooms and get suffocated, unlike other restaurants. Only delighted cooks can cook delicious food! He says.
12 am to 4 pm- The peak time!
The peak working hours are from 12 am to 4 pm. If you would like to grab a seat during these hours, make sure you reach the spot early. There had even been occasions where the large gates had to be closed due to the rush of food lovers thronging the place. So, what can be the trade secret of this old restaurant without any plush cushions or exquisite features? Salahudeen leans forward to let out one more precious secret. Did you know that people who serve contaminated or adulterated food are inviting doom not only for himself but also to all those who are near and dear to him? I take up the responsibility of serving fresh, unadulterated food to everyone who eats food from here. Their trust in me will never be broken. This restaurant had a modest start and grew up to have almost fifteen employees and relatives or friends who drop by to help during peak hours only because of the trust factor about the quality of food here.
This seafood lover’s destination is located at Chalai Market, behind the Sree Padmanabha Theatre.
Ring At: 9895769959
Timings: The restaurant is open from 11.30 am to 8 pm every day of the week except on Sundays.
No. Mubarak hotel is a classic hotel inside the busy streets of Chalai market. We would advise you to park your vehicle in the parking space in Gandhi Park and walk along the road near to Sree Padmanabha Theatre. Walk for about 500 meters, and you see a small eatery that tells tales of delectable seafood cuisines.
This is a small eatery that focuses only on providing fresh fish delicacies to the customers at a moderate rate that can be easily affordable by all classes of people. Don’t come here for an ambient atmosphere. Come here to relish delicious fish fries! And we can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!
Must Try Items
The specialities of the place are Neymeen Fry, Konchu Fry, Para fry, Netholi Fry and Meals