Kochi, Kerala is a great place for a short break, and its food – both rustic and gourmet – is a reason in itself. Here we list a few 5 Great Places To Eat Out In Kochi.
Kethel’s fiery fried chicken at Ernakulam’s Hotel Rahmaniya is such a cracker that the 60-year-old family recipe has been patented. Named after the restaurant’s founder Muhammed Abdul Khader, whom clients fondly called “Kettle Sahib”, the dish is not for the faint of stomach. Tender farm chicken is cooked with fresh chillies and a secret blend of spices, then garnished with even more fried chillies for a burst of heat, and served on banana leaves with soft, oil-free chapattis and neyi choru (ghee rice) (00-91-484-2538111; kethelschicken.com; AJ Residency, behind Lenin Centre, Kaloor, Ernakulam; 11.30am – 11.30pm; chicken fry: Rs. 120).
Walking into this café is like being at the Mad Hatter’s tea party. The display of vintage teapots in every colour, shape and size imaginable, the mustard yellow stucco walls and the toy-like furniture seem straight out of a fairytale. Try the Indian rarebit – the café’s take on the Welsh rarebit (savoury melted cheese on toast) — and wash it down with refreshing rose ice tea (00-91-484- 2218035; Peter Celli St, Fort Kochi; 8.30am – 9.30pm; Indian rarebit: Rs. 60, rose ice tea: Rs. 50).
Locals claim that this no-fuss, family-run eatery in Mattancherry serves the best biryani in Kerala. It is an original hand-me-down recipe that never disappoints. The meat is so tender it melts in your mouth, and the spices have a delicate balance of flavour. Yet, the dish is devoid of the grease we’ve come to associate with biryani. Eating here is a rushed affair as it is only open for an hour-and-a-half each day, and the biryani doesn’t last too long, either! (00-91-484-2226080; New Rd, Mattancherry; 12pm – 1.30pm; chicken biryani: Rs. 95/ plate)
KASHI ART CAFÉ
Tucked into a quiet corner on Burgher Street in Fort Kochi, this eclectic, al fresco café is a feast for the senses. Here you can drool over both the delicious chocolate cake and owner Edgar Pinto’s private collection of art works, by Indian greats like Riyas Komu, Bose Krishnamachari and Pradeep Naik. Late risers will love that they can have breakfast at any time of the day. Ask for the soup of the day and follow it up with freshly-baked pie to go with your latte (00-91- 484-2215769; kashiartgallery.com; Burgher St; 8.30am – 7.30pm; chocolate cake: Rs. 70/ slice).
MALABAR JUNCTION AT MALABAR HOUSE
This gourmet restaurant is arguably one of the finest seafood restaurants in South India. Chef Manoj cooks up Keralan food with a Mediterranean twist, achieving a delicate balance of flavours that retains the individuality of both cuisines. You must try the fisherman’s dream (marinated and grilled mahi-mahi and tiger prawns, served with an assortment of sauces). End with the sorbet of the day or a fusion option like the chocolate samosa on a mango coulis. The partial al fresco seating, fairylight-illuminated trees and impeccable service complete the experience (00-91-484-2216666; malabarhouse.com; 1/ 268 – 1/ 269 Parade Road, Fort Kochi; lunch: 12.30pm – 3pm, dinner: 7pm – 10.30pm; fisherman’s dream: Rs. 580).