YAM magazine’s Best Restaurant Awards 2024 celebrate Greater Victoria, B.C.’s exciting food scene, judged by an independent panel of chefs and food experts. 


Cafe Malabar, Best South or Southeast Asian, YAM Best Restaurants 2024
Chef Kiran Kolathodan brings flavours from Kerala to the Victoria Public Market.

Best South or Southeast Asian: Cafe Malabar

#6-1701 Douglas Street  |  $-$$ |  @cafemalabar.ca on Instagram |  No reservations; walk-ins only

Cafe Malabar chefs/co-owners Kiran Kolathodan and Karma Tenpa are both from southern India, but their paths crossed by happy coincidence while working together at a local hotel. Each has an impressive resumé and they combined their talents to open Cafe Malabar, a new eatery set in the Victoria Public Market.

Cooking out of the Coho Commissary kitchen and serving meals in the market or for delivery, the young chefs have found a following for their creative Keralan cuisine. Start with their ginger mint tea and try the regional specialties including crisp vegetable cutlets, breakfast dosas and idli, black chickpea and fish curries, flaky parotta bread, steamed coconut puttu or tender lamb shank biryani.

They’ve just expanded the menu, with plans to open a larger location to showcase the cuisine of Kerala soon.


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