Hotel Fort Heritage: Above average food
At this hotel you can choose between an indoor or outdoor section. They have a very comprehensive menu, with many south indian dishes. It is the quality of the food that put this above many others in Cochin.
Favorite Dish: Nadan Kozhi Curry (Kerala Style)
Fish Market: Fresh Fish!
The fish market offers a variety of fish and shell fish/ seafood etc. This is where the locals come to shop, and is a good place to stock up if you're self catering.
Local fishermen sell the fish here that has been caught recently, either by boat, or in the cantilevered nets.
A 'different dining experience' is to chose the fish you'd like to eat, wait for it to be weighed, agree on a price, then carry your purchase to the nearby grills, where your fish will be cooked and served.
I'm not sure if this is just grilled, or if your fish could be made into a hot, spicy dish.
I'm afraid that I didn't get the chance to do this, but hopefully one day I'll get the chance to return to Cochin, and try this out
Favorite Dish: All the fish looked very fresh, so it would have been hard to decide.
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Kashi Art Cafe: Not that good
Described in Lonely Planet as a "hip art cafe". I would rate this cafe as below average. The lunch menu consisted of 2 choices. There were some cakes available as well, but you won't get a substantial meal here. Service was rather poor.
Favorite Dish: No favourite
Hotel Cochin Fort: Good Keralan Food
I had a few meals at this restaurant. They serve South Indian food, and I had some very good food here. During my last visit (Oct 2008) they had a staff problem and service was poor, as was some of the food (ice cold rice).
You will see people drinkning "tea" from teapots and mugs - tat is actually how they serve there ice cold beer!
Favorite Dish: Keralan Food
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Solar Café: Friendly and artsy
Downstairs from the Draavidia Art Gallery is a friendly, artsy café, with tasty food, excellent fresh-squeezed juices, and an eclectic clientele. Most of the decorations come from the art on display upstairs. Specials seem to change according to the whim of the chief cook (who I believe is a European lady).
It’s located about half way between the Chinese Nets and Jew Town (maybe closer to the Chinese Nets) on the main east coast road, so it’s a good stop-over when walking between the two areas. Be sure to check out the gallery, and the evening music performances if you get a chance.
CHINESE FISHING NETS: DONT MISS THE FRESH SEA FOOD
the freshest of sea food,the concept is of small shacks cooking for u what uv bought from the fishing nets..u can sit on a beachside,see the locals operat the fishing nets,sip in a beer or two,hardrinks also(not legal but u can do it)..n just chill ..maybe if u r a bit too advenrous u can help in catching the catch which can be cooked for u...n its dirt cheap....a big lobster for less than ten dollars...tell the cook to go a bit light on the spices if ur stomach does not permit.
Favorite Dish: try the grilled prawns in garlic sauce,or the Local freshwater KARI mean(Black fish)...lobsters grilled r nice n so r the fresh crabs in coconut sauce....all this with fresh brown bread or the traditional rice plate.
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"You Buy We Cook"
At the Chinese Fishing Nets in Kochi (cochin as it was known earlier) you will find these little shacks that have "You Buy We Cook" on them. As the name suggests you buy the fish from the fishermen and give it to these shacks who cook delicious food on the spot.
Excellent foog an one must try it :-)
Favorite Dish: All the dishes are great!!! i espcially loved the Prawns!
Kashi Art Cafe: A cozy coffee place
It is a great place to have a cuppa after walking around Fort Kochi and Jew Town. Must try their home-made cakes.
For those who like real coffee and have gotten tired of the sweet instant coffees that people usually serve up here, this place sells good coffee. My friends and i went in for the plunger. :-)
Also love this place because they don't sell water in plastic bottles. They sell water in sterilized glass bottles. I think they might be willing to refill your bottles. Not sure.
They also have an art gallery.
Bharat: Where the locals go
I wasn't so keen on the hotel Bharat, but I returned there several times for their authentic South Indian vegetarian restaurant.
They make excellent thalis and South Indian dishes, and have a banana-leaf Kerala special (by which I mean that the meal is served on a banana leaf rathar than a plate)at lunchtime every day. The place is full of local families enjoying a meal out, especially on Sundays. Just don't go if you have a low tolerance of noisy children. But you'd be missing a pretty good (and cheap) meal...
Favorite Dish: Kerala banana-leaf special (lunch) Kerala thali (dinner)
Ceylon Bake House: Known for its Kerala food
I haven't been to this restaurant, but this was the place my brother wanted to take us first. Since it was shut, we ended up in Grand Pavilion. Hence, this is my brother's review.
He says that they serve even better food than Grand Pavilion. Their flavours are better. And they serve it at nearly half the price compared to Grand.
Favorite Dish: I would recommend the same things i tried at Grand. Karimeen Polichadhu, appam, idiappam, fish molee and shrimps.
Sri Krishna Cafe: Possibly the best vegetarian restaurant in Cochin
It took us some time to find this place, especially walking through the deserted streets of jew town at night.. but near where the gujeratis are, bright lights beckon you to Krishna cafe with an owner welcoming you with a broad smile
Favorite Dish: There is A/C and non A/C section and the prices are slightly different. I recommend the a/c section, quieter and good service.
Dosai, Poori, Parotha and Masala.
We had Stuffed Parotta and Vegetable Masala Dosai
Restaurant at Airlines Hotel, Vasantha Vihar: Antacid anyone?
There are so many places to eat in Cochin that once in a while you walk in to a place and the simplicity turns out to be a danger. If they go a little heavy on the ghee or the oil, pitta ayurvedic types will suffer from dyspepsia...
Favorite Dish: Masala Dosai as in the picture and soon after that a tablet of Nexium, a proton pump inhibitor for dyspepsia..
The Talk of the Town: The fare of Chef Bensal
After eating here at least on four different visits, imagine my great disappointment in August 2008 when i dined there on two consecutive nights to find the quality and quantity of the food gone immeasurably down. paneer was as hard as a rock, okra curry had a few okras floating in it, the ladies finger curry was next to inedible, the eggplant curry was stale and the shrimps were from another decade.
Chef Bensal had gotten married recently and has given over the task of cooking to someone else and it definitely shows. I am sorry to say this about the restaurant owned by this good friend of mine, but I cannot in all honesty recommend this restaurant. there are plenty of great value for money food available in Cochin such as Fort House Restaurant and Dhal Roti to give just two examples.
During our stay in Cochin in December 2006, we ate here a lot. Bensal the chef who is the brother of Densal the manager of Ballard Group of Hotels, is ever so obliging. It is situated in an old building very close to the Basilica ( in fact you can see it while dining), walking distance from the hotels and hostels. It is open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. It is very popular with visitors, so if you go there too late in the morning or afternoon or evening, some of your favourite dishes may not be available ( such as Vegetable Thali for Lunch ).
Favorite Dish: as of August 2008, nothing..
photos were from a time when chef bensal was the cook and he attended to every guest every day and until he changes the cook and restarts cooking himself, please give this a miss.
The Old Courtyard: Great Fish
It is good here but you really can't go wrong with the fish anywhere in Kochi. It is said to be the best in India. Its very fresh as they serve it the same day it is caught.
Favorite Dish: Grilled fish on banana leaves.
Food Stalls opposite Albuquerque Fish Landing Site: lOCAL FARE
Across from Aspinwalls and along the road from the ferry to the Ft Cochin there are a few food stalls.. One is moslem and the other Hindu ( non veg and veg ).. In fact these establishments which were shunned by tourists in the past are becoming popular with them. The food is clean , is fast food and is familiar.. dosai, idli and vegetable curry etc
Favorite Dish: I was staying at Ballard Bungalow,a Heritage house. about 250 years old and befitting the patrons, they had toast, eggs, tea for breakfast One of the workers would run out and get me a dosai or idlis with chutney and the Indian style tea for me each morning. I am grateful
Once again I recommend Ballard Bungalows for your stay
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