That experience stayed with me and now whenever we have a talk about the best food we have had, this is on the top of my list. Years later, I heard Paragon was opening its branch in Cochin and I was jumping with joy.
The Chicken Biryani is one among the best that I’ve had. Served with Chammanthi, Dates Pickle and Pappad, it is amazingly aromatic and extremely flavourful. Perfectly cooked short grain rice, juicy chicken pieces and the subtle taste of ghee lingering in your mouth sums up this dish. The Vegetable Biryani here is undoubtedly the best I’ve had. It definitely doesn’t come anywhere near the Chicken Biryani, but when you are restricted to vegetarian options, this is your best bet. Ever since the first time I had the Fish Mango Curry here, I have always associated Paragon with this dish. This is one of their signature dishes and I haven’t had a better fish mango curry from anywhere else. Spiced just right along with a slight tanginess that is infused by chunks of raw mango, this curry is delicious, and when paired with rice, it is out of this world. The French Onion Soup is a must try too. It is served in a bread bowl, the insides of which have to be scraped and mixed with the soup. It is quite innovative and at the same time flavourful and for those of you who love the bread and soup combo, look no further! This is, by far, the best soup I’ve had in Cochin, if not in Kerala.
The last time I had gone there, I was a vegetarian and while the non-vegetarians were ordering the Chicken Biryani and Fish Mango Curry, we, vegetarians, were lamenting over missing out on Paragon’s signature dish. This is when the waiter offered to get us the Veg Mango Curry! I would say this was definitely the best replacement we could get for the Fish Mango Curry. It was delicious and this time, it was truly the star. We couldn’t stop ourselves from taking one more serving as soon we finished the first one and this curry was over before anyone knew it!
For dessert lovers, the Elaneer Pudding here is a must try. Rightly sweetened with a very prominent tender coconut flavour, this dessert ends your dinner on a cheerful note. It is very difficult to share this! Each time I’ve dined here, I’ve left with a wide grin on my face, an overfed tummy and a promise to myself to go back there soon! This place is truly a foodie’s paradise!