What do you do if you’re an engineer who loves food and misses his Mum’s Kerala home cooking? What do you do if you’re an accountant who works in recruitment but dreams of a more independent and creative life?
If you’re Jacob and Rita Abraham it’s obvious: you start a restaurant.
The Rice Boat in Newnham, Cambridge, is Jacob and Rita’s much-adored extra child and they’re delighted to share it with guests from far and wide.
At the Rice Boat they cook everything from scratch – chopping, blending, mincing and grinding. Slowly cooked on the premises, the aromas from their spices waft from the kitchen into the restaurant. It goes without saying that neither of them would touch a jar of factory-made curry sauce – on that front they’re proud to be snobs.
They cook carefully, thoughtfully and with an engineer’s eye for equipment and processes. They test, test, test (or taste, taste taste…) so you get the most succulent fish, meat and vegetable dishes infused with a perfect balance of subtle spices.
You can call it ‘authentic’, you can call it ‘a bit geeky’ (they’ll put their hands up to that). They say it’s cooked with love and attention and served with thought and consideration.
With Brexit and the uncertainty of future trading agreements, everyone in this country might end up having to re-evaluate what they cook with. This is a natural evolution of the Rice Boat way of cooking. Using ingredients which are available to hand, cooking the Kerala way, staying faithful to the origins of the cuisine but being conscious of the environmental impact of using ingredients from far away.
Part of the local community
Jacob, Rita and their team have been preparing truly Kerala and truly tasty food since 2005. Many local people and academics and staff from the nearby colleges and university departments are amongst their loyal regulars. A stunning 70% of their customers are people coming back for repeat visits.