1947: A food story

The dining table also features a lower section showcasing miniature versions of ancient kitchen tools and spices symbolic of our country’s culinary heritage.
Photographs of pre-Independence era flags, valiant soldiers, and special discount programmes for retired defence staff are some of the ways this dining restaurant is paying homage to India’s history
Photographs of pre-Independence era flags, valiant soldiers, and special discount programmes for retired defence staff are some of the ways this dining restaurant is paying homage to India’s history

KOCHI:   Perhaps what draws your attention first at 1947, a fine dining restaurant on Infopark Road, Kakkanad, is the wall-mounted shelf that displays photographs of soldiers. The replica of a medal, which majestically adorns the top of the shelf, indicates that these valiant fighters are recipients of Param Vir Chakra. 

This and other remnants from the Independence struggle, especially the statue of Gandhi at the entrance, pre-Independence era flags, and iconic photographs of the freedom struggle, all add to the restaurant’s aesthetics.

“I’ve always been inspired by Gandhi’s life. As I delved deep into India’s freedom struggle, I was astounded to learn the sacrifice of thousands of individuals who fought for the country’s freedom. My team aimed to honour these nameless heroes. Since building a museum or gallery was not feasible, we decided to integrate a fitting theme to our restaurant venture,” says Biby Jacob, the managing director of 1947.

This is not Biby’s first venture. He runs a variety of restaurant and hotel chains across Muscat. 1947, one of those chains, started operations in Muscat seven years ago. The Kakkanad branch opened in 2020.
The restaurant showcases the stories of approximately 180 individuals and their contributions to the freedom struggle. In addition, it also celebrates the birthdays of 220 soldiers throughout the year with small table frames. 

“The frames provide details about the soldiers and their heroic deeds. They are updated on their respective birthdays. This is our small way of ensuring that these brave soils are not forgotten,” Biby says. The restaurant’s walls proudly showcase images of revolutionaries who played pivotal roles in India’s fight for freedom. Their portraits are accompanied by meaningful quotes, which remain significant even 76 years after India gained independence.

The dining table also features a lower section showcasing miniature versions of ancient kitchen tools and spices symbolic of our country’s culinary heritage. Additionally, newspaper clippings from 1947, marking India’s independence, are displayed on the tables.

To complement the theme, the restaurant has also employed unique marketing strategies. The notable among them is their special discounts programme for retired defence staff and senior citizens.
Additionally, guests who refrain from using their mobile phones during their visit are rewarded with a complimentary dish. 

Elaborating on this, Biby says, “Guests can choose to deposit their phones at the counter and retrieve them after finishing their meal. This was introduced some time ago when I noticed a family of five at the restaurant. The parents and their two kids were fully engrossed in their phones, leaving the grandmother with no one to talk to. With this option, I try to ensure that people who visit the restaurant have genuine conversations with each other.”

For those who can entertain the remaining guests with this musical skill, there’s also an open mic set up in a corner. Guests who showcase their talents are treated to a complimentary dessert. The restaurant is renowned for its authentic Kerala cuisine and has a curated menu of North Indian and tandoor specialities, providing vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices. The most popular dish is the ‘chattichor,’ available in chicken, beef and fish variants. During peak lunch hours, they sell around 70 servings of it.

Another crowd-pleaser is the ‘kochulli kozhi curry,’ a lush and creamy chicken curry that pairs wonderfully with the flakey yet fluffy bun porotta. The chicken tikka platter, which boasts six unique tikkas, is also very popular. Every now and then, the bell at the entrance clangs, indicating that the customer was indeed happy with their experience here. A meal for two typically costs about Rs 1,000.

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