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New name and menu for city's south Indian restaurant

PUBLISHED: 14:25 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:25 07 August 2019

Taste of Malabar serves food from Kerala in the South of India. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Taste of Malabar serves food from Kerala in the South of India. Picture: Ruth Lawes

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An Indian restaurant in Norwich has relaunched with a new menu and name - after its owner discovered people didn't realise what exactly it did.

Alisha Kallarackal and Alina Antony (L-R) both work at Taste of Malabar. Picture: Ruth LawesAlisha Kallarackal and Alina Antony (L-R) both work at Taste of Malabar. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Cafe Malabar on Magdalen Street which first opened in 2014 has been renamed Taste of Malabar and added new southern Indian dishes to the menu.

The owner Antony Thomas, a father-of-two who lives on Bowthorpe Road, said: "Many customers got confused and didn't realise we were a restaurant so we changed the name and thought it was a suitable time for a refresh."

Cafe Malabar is reopening as Taste of Malabar with a brand new menu. Picture: Ruth LawesCafe Malabar is reopening as Taste of Malabar with a brand new menu. Picture: Ruth Lawes

The family-run restaurant serves regional food from Kerala in south India, famous for seafood and coconut, and the revamped menu includes
a further ten of these dishes. Mr Thomas, who moved to Norwich 17 years ago, picked out the spicy lamb fry and dosa, a savoury Indian pancake, as his favourite additions.

Mr Thomas's 19-year-old daughter, Alina, who works at the restaurant part-time, said: "The food here is authentic and different - it's more coastal. It's also different to the usual curries you find, like korma or vindaloo. It's truly a family business and we give the best food we can. We prepare all of our food fresh and make our own spice mixes on site."

Eric Kirk, chair of MATA, and Antony Thomas, owner of Taste of Malabar, at the launch. Picture: Ruth LawesEric Kirk, chair of MATA, and Antony Thomas, owner of Taste of Malabar, at the launch. Picture: Ruth Lawes

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The restaurant has been popular on TripAdvisor and won the Certificate of Excellence award this year.

One TripAdvisor reviewer said: "Probably the best Indian food I have had in Norwich, family run, fresh cooking, not the usual premade sauces. Try the thali, exquisite, and the fish curry is delicious, to top it all off, very reasonably priced, will be returning ASAP, will not disappoint."

Taste of Malabar has reopened in partnership with Magdalen Street and Anglia Square Traders Association (MATA) which supports and encourages local businesses on Magdalen Street.

Eric Kirk, below inset, chair of MATA, said: "Taste of Malabar is absolutely excellent and offers something completely different by focusing on specialist dishes. It is a boost to the area."

MATA was set up four years ago in response to road works around Anglia Square which were threatening trade.

Mr Kirk said: "Anglia Square is a hub of local community which has suffered terribly from neglect and had an undeserved reputation.

"There are 23 different nationalities in the area and it's vibrant. It's home to the best restaurants in Norwich."

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