Stand-up comedian and television star Aziz Ansari is one of the more food-obsessed celebrities in Hollywood. Dining and restaurants are key components of his Netflix series Master of None, and in this video from the Times Magazine, Ansari visits his parents' native India for a taste of the cuisine and culture. The actor heads to Hotel Mubarak Restaurant at the Chalai Market in Kerala.
"No menu, just start eating," Ansari declares at his table. The dishes provided seem to be satisfactory, because he emits a few groans and guttural noises upon digging in. In the companion diary entry for T, Ansari describes the experience.
In Italy, you know you've found a truly authentic restaurant when they don't have an English menu. In India, it's when there are no utensils and you must eat with your hands. At Mubarak, there were no forks to be found. As soon as I was seated, a banana leaf was placed in front of me, and the waiter quickly doled out a hefty portion of rice. Other servers came by, offering fried prawns, mackerel and squid with various curries. I nodded when I wanted a serving and because everything looked delicious, I nodded often.