The Kochi Muziris Bienalle has made Fort Kochi (FC, for us locals) the B-town art capital of Kochi. There are umpteen reasons you may find to visit FC at this moment and one of them and most importantly the best out of them, is food. Your food cravings can lead you to places, but what if you could get on board the FC express and eat like a local boy in B-town, Fort Kochi?
1. Chinese Fishing Nets
The fishing nets are iconic to not just FC but everything that transpires the general feel of god’s own country. Once you are at your destination, you can treat yourself to some droolsomeness with fresh seafood. Buy your catch of the day at the nets and get it cooked the way you like it from the nearby shacks. Have a Kulluki Sarbath from near the nets to wash it all down.
2. Princess Street, Burgher Street and Tower Road (Downtown, FC )
I call this area – the Downtown, for it is that one stop street for the cosy nooks you’re searching for in FC. Get Art attacked at the ambiance in Kashi over an extra dark chocolate cake and an ice tea. Speak Portuguese in Mexico with a beef vindaloo tortilla wrap at Loafers Corner and keep the heat at bay with a watermelon breeze. To add icing to the cake, get high on the yummy banoffee pie at Qissa and take away memories to flaunt about and stories to tell.
3. Chirattapalam, Kokers
Close to the heart are the little known places where FC snacks on like Josa’s tea shop in Chirattapalam where you get potato bondas, meat samosas and homely porottas with your cup of chai. Go crazy over the delicious beef cutlets and a clear chicken eggy broth called the sweet chicken soup from Febina, near Kokers theatre.
4. Bazaar Road, Ferry Jetty
Connect to some culture in your food trail on the streets that connected spices to the rest of the world, Bazaar Road. Chill with some beers and the legendary earthy fisherman curry, “Karimeen Thilapichathu” at Cochin Fort. Listen to the waves at Seagull Bar in the company of passing by Ships over a glass of wine with your Karimeen Polichathu.
5. Gujarathi Street, Jain Temple, Jew Town
After your visit to the Synagogue, walk by for a Mutton Biriyani at Kayees to treat yourself to an old glory like a celebrity in B town. Walking past the Jain temple will take you to FC’s most celebrated Gujarathi Sweet shop – Shantilal. S. Mithaiwala where you can drown yourself in some milk sweets and ghatiya.
6. Puthiya Road, Mattanchery
Khao galli, Khan Market, Mohammed Ali Road, Bhindi Bazaar, Sivaji Nagar, Triplicane and then there is Puthiya Road, Mattanchery. Get your dose of the fair and square porottas from Balante Kada and an avocado smoothie(butter juice) from Rinoos. Try the Erachi Choru at Nooriya if you have had lots of biriyanis lately. Get mesmerized over a coffee-less digestif from Arabia with Hussain Ikka’s Kawah round the corner.
7. Palace Road, Dutch Palace
Gazing at the murals of Dutch Palace (Aaanavathil, can make you thirsty and so we have our own versions of the Lassi Tussi Great Ho, Paaji. Nevertheless, these aren’t your Punjabi Lassis but they still keep you in good stead with your daily dose of yoghurt. You can have the gujarati versions at Rawal Lassi Joint and Shri Ashapura or go get your lassi stamps from the GSB konkani version at Shenoy’s near town hall.
Snacking at some delicacies from Bilal’s near Abad over teatime or getting cramped for room at Fathimas for a beef kondattom. All this and you can have a Beef Dry Fry from Arafa Hotel near EVM theatre. Dinner time cravings sorted, if not, head to the next station.
Old Harbour Bridge never sleeps. For the midnight cravings there is always a door that remains open with some good beef roast and idiyappams at Salkara or Salwa. If you stay hungry till the monings, then head to Vasu’s Chaaya Kada for your Sawallabajji or onion vadas, next to the harbour. Surprise yourselves with pure indulgence in cross cultural feasts like the Bohri mutton biriyani for lunch from FC’s own Jeff’s Biriyani.
10. Mundamveli, Palluruthy
How can you leave Kochi without having Kerala’s most preferred steamed rice cake, Puttu?? It’s hard to imagine skipping Kuttante Puttu from Panackal, Mundamveli in your quest for puttu. Finally, some vegetarian relief at the Puttu House in Palluruthy where you get the most softest puttu in these parts along with a lipsmacking spicy Kizhangu(potato) curry.
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