Kochi: Walking Down The Gourmet Lane to treat my taste buds

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Kochi has been redefined as “There is no sincere love than the Love of Food- George Bernard Shaw.” And I am loyal towards my Love, as I m a sincere Foodie. Since food makes me happy, I guess it’s the sole ingredient that binds people together. So tell me, what comes to mind when you think of Kochi? Backwaters, beaches, houseboats, or maybe Kerala spa; think again, as for me, it’s appam, seafood, Puttu, Biryani, Karimeen Pollicahthu, and the divine Sadya. Salivating already? then let’s treat your taste buds.



Walking down the gourmet lane of Kochi, I started to taste the sumptuous cuisine. A destination’s food tells you much about its culture, and Kochi is no different. Here people from over 16 communities co-exist as one big happy family, and it’s a magical stretch. Over centuries the richness of cuisine moulded through a delectable blend of Malabari, French, Brit, and Arabic influences. The kitchen introduced me to myriad sensory experiences- aroma, sight, texture & taste of old and new Kochi. I set off my tour with Fort Kochi (old Kochi); the weather was warm, with few clouds hovering in the sky, just a sea breeze to comfort.

old fort-Kochi

Hotel Seagull 

But Hotel Seagull was at the rescue, a popular eating joint located right in the core of Fort Kochi. The seating arrangement caught my attention, as you can sit indoors on the waterfront. Yeah, that was lovely. While sipping your favourite drink or munching on some mouth-smacking delicacy, enjoy the sunset along with ships and jetties passing by. The menu is mainly Non-Vegetarian though there are a few Vegan and Vegetarian choices. It was a high menu; glancing across it, I stopped at the eatery’s specialities; & ordered The Chilli Beef with Hot Parotta with a beer. The food was served within 15min, & it was a generous portion, I must say, well enough for two people. Kochi: Walking Down The Gourmet Lane


The dish presented a sharp spice in the flavour, the coconut adding the cream & the hint of tamarind heightened the fresh, tender, crispy beef. I highly recommend this place; it has all the food, view, and drinks. Oh! For the religious lot who don’t eat beef, don’t worry; they also hold Chicken, Fish, Crabs, and Squids.

Highlights: Kerala Fry, Beef Coconut Fry, Tiger Prawns Masala, the Fish Roast, and any seafood that too a fresh catch of the day

Location: Calvathy Rd, Fort Kochi,

Cost: INR 800/- Including Beer for two approx

The Kashi Art Cafe

The treasure trove of community history can be found in Old Kochi, passed on through food. Like food, people are also warm, friendly & kind; you see them at The Kashi Art Cafe, the first of its kind in the city.

This place houses artwork by some Indian and international artists, along with mouth-smacking food. The artistry setting is the USP of this place, with fantastic food. Some leisure time, a book with a coffee adds to your holiday. And I desired to keep it light in the evening as my afternoon diet was way too plentiful.

Kochi: Walking Down The Gourmet Lane
Spinach mushroom

Highlights: Spinach Mushroom Cheese Omelette, French Toast, Coffee and Fresh Sprout Salad.

Location: Burger St, near Police Station, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi,

Cost: Rs. 600 for two approx

Hotel Annapoorna

The next day for my breakfast, I wanted to try something authentic; the local tea seller suggested Hotel Annapoorna. A pure vegetarian restaurant, rejoice for the vegan. I am not fond of south Indian delicacy, but they served the best Puttu I have eaten so far. The whole restaurant showcased Kerala’s quintessential breakfast tradition, and it was finger-licking.

Kochi: Walking Down The Gourmet Lane

Highlights: Puttu, Masala Dosa, Idli

Location: East Fort Gate, Thrippunithura Main Road, Kannankulangara,

Cost: Rs 200 for two approx.

Kayes Rahmathulla Café- Biryani

The afternoon was spent in Mattancherry, the home to settlers & traders from other India and the World; I could imagine how varied the spread must be. Around noon, I went to Kayes Rahmathulla Café– one of the famous places in Kochi for its authentic yet unique Biryani. It was crowded due to the peak lunch hour & I had to wait for 15-20min to get a seat. If the staff asks you to share a table with others, there is nothing to be surprised by, as this is a prevalent practice here. Looking around, I realized this place is only about its Biryani, nothing fancy, as it has served the legacy since 1948.

Once seated, I was served jeera water to build up an appetite & better digestion. Interesting! Mostly, it’s Kokam that’s done before food in the Southern or western part of India. I ordered a chicken Biryani; in 10 mins, it was served with papads & mint dips. I can’t explain the penchant & feel that came with each spoonful of Biryani. Highly! Recommended.

Kochi: Walking Down The Gourmet Lane
Chicken Biryani

Highlights: Biryani Chicken and Mutton, Fish Biryani on Fridays and prawns on Tuesdays.

Locations: Aanavaadal, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Kochi

Cost: Rs 500 for two approx.

Grand Pavilion

After a luxurious lunch, I could see my bed but had to shed the thought and start for Ernakulam. It’s a 3It’sin drive from Kochi, approx 10km; the best place to shop from species to oils, sarees or even leather. But for me, I was searching for soul-appetizing, and who could suggest better places than the locals? And the name came up as Grand Pavilion– a Kochi institution in food for the past fifty years. Its menu features everything from north Indian to Chinese, pass all, and try the Karimeen Pollichathu- it’s a gourmet delight; you need to get past the crowd for a seat, though.

Kochi: Walking Down The Gourmet Lane
The Karimeen Pollichathu

Highlights: The Karimeen Pollichathu, Beef fry, Syrian food and seafood.

Locations: Mahatma Gandhi Rd, Ernakulam South, Kochi,

Cost: Rs. 1,000 for two approx.

Nestor Toddy Shop

Even I tried out my shopping skill & bargained for spices. It was a success! Now I wanted to relax; thus, my friend suggested Nettor Toddy’s shop.  It is situated along the bank of Kochi lake, surrounded by coconut trees. It’s an unfussy Shabu, a stereotypical toddy shop depicted in Malayalam movies serving palm-based beverages & spice. The evening sky wearing the twilight vale, the panorama of the distant railway bridge from the lake, the boat service and the remarkable sight of this place are sure to leave you mesmerized.


Along with the view, this restaurant also serves mouth-watering dishes like Crab Roast, Meena Thala Curry, and prawn fry; add a plate of kappa, or tapioca, to go with your order.

Highlights: Chemmeen Ulathiyathu, Meena Thala Curry, Crab Roast

Locations: Near Nettor Palli, Nettoor, Maradu, Ernakulam

Cost: Rs. 600 for two approx


I was at the final stage of my trip, but we could end anything without eating sweets. Malabari Mappila sweets served at this quaint cafe Ojeen can’t be a lack. The Unnakaya (a sweet made with plantain) or Mutta Mala (a dessert made entirely with eggs) is excellent for every mood & and an ideal foodie. I got them packed to cherish on my way back to the hotel or maybe during my midnight cravings.

Kochi: Walking Down The Gourmet Lane

Highlights: Unnakaya, Mutta Mala, Rachi Pathiri and Kabsa (think Biryani, but different; cooked with Arabic meat and rice).

Locations: Penta Menaka Shopping Complex, D-17, Shanmugham Rd, Menaka, Marine Drive, Kochi.

Cost: Rs 450 for two approx.


Well, my last day was about backwaters, to taste the basic homemade food. It was an hour’s drive to Kottayam from Kochi, the Land of ‘ letters, latex and lakes. While sailing for 2-3 hours, you could see long stretches of the serene backwaters sprawling paddy fields and rubber plantations. It was scorching heat, though the boat’s roof was covered with bamboo & a breeze to ease the humidity. It’s the best way to watch the locales’ mundane activities of rural life while passing through the villages.

Kottayam Thali

Ultimately, we made a pit stop at a small village near the seashore. A few locals welcomed us and escorted us to a makeshift dining area. The air was filled with a rich scent of coconut & abundant species. We were served in the traditional way of eating on banana leaves with rice, sambhar, cabbage and coconut Sabji, pickle and 2 Bananas for dessert. The most simple & soul-filling food. Eating with your fingers elevates your senses. Also, the local produce is an added advantage.

Highlights: Homemade food from local produce

Locations:  Any local operators who tour backwaters.

Cost: Food is free when you buy the ticket for a Backwater trip

Quality Bakers

I wanted to carry back some variety of savoury and sweet delicacies. Hence I opted for Quality Bakers, which offers a taste of the rich history as it used to be a Dutch colony. I got Breudher (pronounced brute-dhaar), a cross between bread and cake, as a token of food memory.

Quality bakers

Highlights: Bakery products and desserts.

Locations: Near S.B.T, Tvs Rd, South Kalamassery, Kalamassery, Kochi

Cost: Rs 500 for two approx.

Kochi has several choices to quench your thirst, from piping hot chai to chilled buffalo milk Lassi. And an array of seasonal fruits from a local shop. Also, maybe a tiny coffee roaster over 80 years old or various eateries to hop. It enriches our culinary curiosity and perhaps enlightens us. Probably with new ideas and ingredients to try out back home. So pack your appetite and an open mind when visiting Kochi as a Foodie.



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