One Carlo Diaz
Kerala restaurant Paragon, which has branches in Dubai under the name Calicut Paragon, has been named as one of the “world’s most legendary restaurants”.
The restaurant, located in the coastal city of Kozhikode, is 11th in the list of 150 dining spots across the globe published by online food guide TasteAtlas. The list also includes each restaurant’s most iconic dishes, which is biryani in Paragon’s case.
The Indian restaurant, which has been around since 1939, has outlets in Al Nahda and Al Karama, Dubai, and serves traditional Malabar cuisine.
“We can’t keep calm,” the restaurant writes on Instagram in response to the list. “A big thank you, to all our patrons for all the love.”
The Croatia-based guide describes the restaurant as “an emblem of the region’s rich gastronomic history”.
“The dish that reigns supreme is the biryani, a blend of rice, meat, and spices, steeped in age-old traditions and prepared with locally sourced ingredients,” the TasteAtlas writes on its website.
“The restaurant’s enduring charm lies in its inviting atmosphere, coupled with the meticulous preparation of dishes that celebrate local produce and traditional cooking methods.”
The Dubai outposts are also revered by in-the-know residents, and have hosted Indian actor M Nassar and scientist Nambi Narayanan in the past.
The original venue in Kerala was founded by Govindan Panhikeyil and his son PM Valsan. Today, the business is run by third-generation restaurateur Sumesh Govind and his wife.
Aside from biryani, the menu is filled with other South Indian favourites, including Kuttanadan beef fry, hariyali kebab and kappa and ayala curry.
Other restaurants on the list
The extensive list spans several countries and cuisines. Clinching the top spot is Figlmuller in Vienna, which is known for specialising in a single dish, the Schnitzel Wiener Art.
Katz’s Delicatessen in New York City comes second with its pastrami on rye listed as an iconic dish. It is followed by Warung Mak Beng in Bali, La Polar in Mexico City and L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples.
Aside from Paragon, several other restaurants from India made it on to the list, including Lucknow’s Tunday Kababi at number 12 and Kolkata’s Peter Cat at number 17.