From ‘naadan’ delights, seafood extravaganzas, pizzas to raw food – Kochi has it all!
Kochi, the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is well-known for its exquisite sea food delicacies, the traditional naadan meals served on the banana leaf, the Malabari biriyani and the Syrian Christian cuisine. The city is dotted with hotels, restaurants and cafés that specialize in ‘naadan’ delights, seafood extravaganzas, South Indian and North Indian cuisine, pizzas and even raw food! With options galore, making your pick gets a tad bit tricky! RITZ lists down the top 10 restaurants in the city based on popular demand.
Fort Kochi Seafood specialty restaurant at the Casino Hotel, Willingdon Island
This is one of the oldest properties in Kochi and is tucked away from the city’s bustle at Willingdon Island, a man-made island. The 5-star hotel has two restaurants, of which the seafood speciality restaurant, Fort Cochin, founded in 1986, has acquired legendary status among Kochi residents and tourists alike. The open restaurant offers candle-lit dinners with an enticing menu that lets you pick the catch of the day and the style of preparation – stir-fried with spices, steamed, baked or poached, served with a choice of string hoppers, rice or naan. Grills are a favourite at the restaurant and not surprisingly, the Grilled lobster in lemon, butter and garlic is the hottest pick on the menu! The restaurant is open from 7pm -12pm and with an average cost for two priced at INR 2500.
Celeb Clients: Film stars Jayaram, Prithviraj Sukumaran, playback singers Manjari, MG Sreekumar, music directors Jayachandran, Deepak Dev to name a few.
Kochi Kitchen at the Kochi Marriott, Edapally
The Kochi Marriott is one of Kerala’s largest 5 star hotels located in the Lulu Mall Campus at Edapally. Although the property began operations only in December 2014, in a very short span of time, it has become one of the most popular hotel destinations in Kochi with its excellent service and quality of dining experience. It has three elegant restaurants of which the Kochi Kitchen, which offers all day dining tops the charts. It offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with buffet and a la carte options. The restaurant, set in a contemporary style offers specialities of India, Asia, Arabia, and the West. The restaurant’s signature dish would be the Grilled Salmon. Average cost for two: Rs 2000.
Celeb Clients: Film stars Dulquer Salmaan, Kaavya Madhavan, Narain, Lena, Pearle, Asif Ali, Sijoy Vargheese, Tovino Thomas, DJ Shekhar, Joju Joseph.
Sian at The Gateway Hotel, Marine Drive
The Gateway hotel is situated right at the heart of Kochi city. It has two classy restaurants, of which Sian, the Pan Asian restaurant is one of the finest dining destinations and the only restaurant in the city that serves three different cuisines under one roof! Though Sian is considered to be one of the best restaurants for Chinese food, it also offers a delectable selection of Japanese and Thai food. Sian is also well known for its sea food, live teppanyaki counter and exotic desserts. The excellent service and the exotic oriental experience makes it truly distinct. The popular dishes on the menu would be the Teppanyaki, Sushi, Prawn Tempura, Thai Curry and the Song of Sian. The restaurant is open from 6.30pm to 11.30pm and the average cost for two is priced at INR 2300.
Celeb clients: Film stars Mammootty, Mohanlal, Jayasurya, Meera Jasmine, singer MG Sreekumar.
Ember restaurant at the Le Meridien Hotel, Maradu
Le Meridien at Maradu is a popular 5-star destination in Kochi. The sprawling property has two restaurants, a lounge and a deli, of which, ‘Ember’ truly stands out! It is the first museum-themed restaurant in the country and this fine dining space takes you on a delectable journey through the culinary heritage of India. The authentic secrets of Indian cooking have found their way into Ember’s carefully curated menu. The ambience resonates with the mysteries of ancient civilisations and showcases artefacts that reflect its magnificent history and the ingenuity of its master craftsmen. The menu offers delightful Indian delicacies that are served in a chic, modern style. The signature dishes that are high on demand would be the Ilaneer Shorba – Soup, Smoked Salmon Pani Puri and Galouti Kebab. It is priced at an average cost of Rs 2500 plus taxes for two.
Celeb Clients: Film stars Prithviraj Sukumaran, Indrajith, Poornima, Mamta Mohandas, Bollywood actor Makarand Deshpande and comedian Vir Das.
Trilogi Restaurant at Crowne Plaza:
Crowne Plaza is a relatively new addition to the list of 5-star properties in Kochi but this beautiful property by the backwaters has become favoured hotspot for business and leisure events. It has three state-of-the-art restaurants and a lounge, of which Trilogi is the Kerala speciality restaurant. Trilogi tastefully represents the culinary delights from 3 regions – Travancore in the south, Kochi at the centre and the Malabar in the north. Relish seafood delicacies and naadan delights in a contemporary warm ambience, perfect for family dining or a candle-lit dinner! The signature dishes on the menu include seafood thengapal soup, meen nirachathu, idiyappam, chemmeen biriyani and kappa chemmeen cutlet. The restaurant is open from 7pm -11pm and a meal for two could cost you upwards of INR 1200.
Celeb Clients: Film Stars sharat Balachandra Menon, Manoj K Jayan, Anoop Menon, Padmapriya, Andrea Jermiah, Indrajith and director Roshan Andrews.
Stepping out of the 5-star category, there are umpteen casual dining options in Kochi which will definitely tantalise your taste buds and are also very popular.
Grand Hotel on MG Road
One of oldest properties in Kochi that began its journey in 1963, the hotel has stood the test of time and evolved beautifully over the years. The restaurant in this property continues to be one of the most popular casual dining destinations in Kochi that offers an exotic variety of seafood delicacies apart from the Chinese and continental options. The menu has been constantly reviewed, and innovated to entice the palette. The restaurant has a warm ambience and exudes elegance making it a favourite spot for most Kochiites. Popular dishes on the menu: Karimeen Pollichathu, Ammichi’s fish and Dum Biryani. It is open from 7am to 10pm and the average cost for two is Rs 1000.
Recommended by: Mollywood star Aju Varghese
Brindavan Vegetarian Hotel at NH Bypass, Palarivattom
The Brindavan hotel is a casual all day dining restaurant that offers delightful South Indian, North Indian and Chinese delicacies. If you are vegetarian, this is one place you must try. It offers crispy dosas, hot idli – vada, yummy channa batoora, sizzling poori masala and of course veg meals apart from the naan, roti and noodles! The restaurant has a pleasant ambience and tops the charts for vegetarians in Kochi! It is open from 7am till 10pm and a meal for two will fit within an average of INR 500.
Recommended by Sheela Chittilappilly Managing Director, V Star Creations.
Oceanos restaurant at Fort Kochi
A little away from Kochi city, is Fort Kochi, immensely famous as a tourist destination with its age-old architecture and monuments and most importantly for the wayside eateries and boutique restaurants that offer yummy seafood delicacies fresh from the catch! Oceanos at Fort Kochi is one such cozy restaurant that offers scrumptious seafood delights and naadan delicacies! It offers all day dining with delicacies in Indian, European, Asian, Portuguese cuisines. It is a favourite spot for tourists as well as the local crowd and so the place gets buzzing in no time. The restaurant is open from 10am to 10.30pm and the average cost for two is Rs 1500.
Recommended by: Mollywood star Aparna Gopinath
Primate Raw Food at Panampilly Nagar
Primate Raw Food is new on the culinary block but it is catching the attention of food lovers for all the right reasons. The restaurant which is the brainchild of Eldho Pachilakadan – an architect, farmer, naturalist, artist and free-thinker, has been inspired by nature and it adopts a very unique and healthy philosophy of cooking – one that does not use fire! Yet the delicacies on his menu include everything from cakes to biriyani, all centred around fruits, vegetables, sprouts, micro greens, roots, nuts, spices, honey, jaggery and sea salt! There is absolutely no use of meat, dairy products, grains, sugar, processed oils, chemicals and table salt. You got to try it to believe it! This is the first ever vegan and raw food restaurant in Kochi! The restaurant is open from 6am to 6pm. The most popular dishes on the menu would be Pasta and the Taco Mexican Salad and the average cost for two is Rs 1000.
Recommended by: Mollywood star Tovino Thomas
360 Degrees Pizzeria at Panampilly Nagar
The 360 Degrees Pizzeria is one of the most favoured hang outs for lip-smacking pizzas that are cooked in a hand built traditional brick oven. The stone hearth is fired up to a temperature of around 360 degrees Celsius which cooks the pizza in three minutes. The kitchen makes fresh dough twice a day and they go by the philosophy of using the freshest and best ingredients – tomatoes from Italy, fresh mozzarella, made locally in small batches and use flour that is unbleached and milled to order. They also offer a wide selection of starters, fresh salads and homemade pastas in an ambience that is elegant and chic. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, the popular pizza on the menu would be the B.B.Q Chicken but you also have the option of making your own pizza with a wide choice of toppings. Average cost for two: INR 1000.
Recommended by: Cake artist Anna Austin.