An underground supper club steps into the spotlight…
You may remember Chef Asha Gomez from the wildly popular Spice Route Supper Club series, an underground supper club that introduced patrons to the fresh and vibrant cuisine of her native Kerala. The exclusive monthly dinners sold out quickly featuring several courses of enriched regional cuisine. These dishes, although steeped in tradition, were served with modern flare and told the story of Chef Gomez’s unique multi-faceted heritage. In a little over a year, Chef Gomez has taken the concept into her first brick and mortar location, Cardamom Hill.
Cardamom Hill isn’t just a new Indian restaurant. Unlike its predecessors, the cuisine diverges from the mainstream by paying homage to ingredients and flavors specific to the Kerala region. Goat chops seasoned with mint, cilantro, and chile, Masala-rubbed Kingfish roasted in banana leaf, and Smoky Spicy Fish Curry simmered in tamarind are just a few of the staple dishes highlighting the traditional cuisine. Staying regional and true to her southern roots are dishes like Braised Short Ribs in coconut sauce and Kerala-style Fried Chicken (one of our best bites at the 2011 Atlanta Food and Wine Festival).
“I think Americans are ready to take their experience with Indian food to the next level by exploring regional Indian cuisine.”
The intimate space conveniently located in the Berkeley Heights retail center is warm and inviting. Dark wooden tables and chairs float in the yellow and crimson space with delicate ornate walls that resemble the homes of area nobility in Kerala. The space seats 48 with room at the bar for an additional 12 and features a private dining area for larger parties. The in-house temperature controlled wine cellar will also feature 120 distinct New World and Old World wines, as well as some from Chef Gomez’s secret stash. With a bevy culturally-inspired cocktails, your evening at Cardamom Hill is capped off with signature desserts and their homemade Chai tea experience.
“India is known globally for its extraordinary food culture, but within the genre of Indian cuisine, Kerala’s centuries-old blend of influences is exceptionally sublime.”
We see great things coming from the new concept and can’t wait for lovers of Indian cuisine to discover Kerala for the first time. Cardamom Hill opens today for lunch and dinner and is now accepting dinner reservations.