John Xavier, a Kerala native residing in the UK for the past two decades, has introduced the first ‘kallu shap’ (toddyparlour) in Northampton, along with his restaurant ‘Thattukada.’ Missing the authentic tastes of his home town, Xavier aimed to create an establishment that offers traditional Kerala delicacies and the unique experience of a toddy parlour. ‘Thattukada’ has gained popularity among the Malayali community and even UK natives who have visited Kerala and are intrigued by the traditional toddy experience. The toddy parlour has become a cultural hub, attracting not only Malayali customers but also UK residents keen on exploring the rich culinary heritage of Kerala. With the success of ‘Thattukada,’ John Xavier plans to expand his venture to London, further promoting Kerala’s distinctive cuisine in the UK.
The ‘kallu shap’ by Xavier is not only a nod to nostalgia for the Malayali diaspora but also an exploration of the diverse culinary landscape that Kerala offers. The restaurant’s menu features a range of dishes, including porotta, beef, squid, prawns, crab, and mussels. Specialties like frog legs, reminiscent of traditional toddy parlours in Kerala, add a unique touch to the offerings. Despite facing challenges in importing toddy directly from Kerala due to packaging issues, Xavier has managed to create a space that resonates with both the Malayali community and locals, bridging cultures through the shared experience of traditional Kerala flavours.