Fort Kochi: If you are the kind of a person who fancies walking into a cafe in your casuals and spending time lazily, unmindful about time ticking away, there is an apt place for you in Kochi. Located at Fort Kochi, the place looks more like your aunt's place where you can order breakfast, settle on a chair and read your favourite book all through the day. In between, you can order lunch and take time off to relax your eyes on the greenery surrounding the place. If you need a break, you can get up, walk around a bit, watch some paintings in the adjoining art gallery and then dive right back into the book.
Art, food, history and nature Kashi Art Cafe is a perfect combo of these four ingredients. When you get down at Fort Kochi either from a bus or Jhankar (I prefer a Jhankar journey as it would help you to experience the real side of Fort Kochi; It is cheap too) you will feel like becoming part of a culture about which you have read only in books.
Even now, Fort Kochi ardently clings to culture left behind by rulers such as the Dutch, Portuguese and the British and when you look around, the association with the past is very evident. As you move forward from Fort Kochi bus stop, you can see Santa Cruz Cathedral, which was built as per Portuguese architectural style. Walk straight, take a left from Spice Route and you would have entered the Burgher Street, a memento of Dutch culture.
In Dutch, Burgher means clerk. During the Dutch reign, this place was known for the residences of clerks and middleclass people. They built houses adhering to the Dutch style in this street. Though, with the advent of the British, the names of many streets in Fort Kochi were changed, this street was not rechristened and it continues to hold an aura of the bygone Dutch era.
It is in such a house that Kashi Art Cafe was born almost 12 years ago. Dorries Younger, a Dutch woman, renovated a house to launch a beautiful cafe, serving authentic continental fare. Soon, the place turned out to become one of the favourite hangouts of both Kochi denizens as well as foreigners.
The cafe was later modified to give it a fresh look by its new owner. The Art Cafe has a small gallery featuring art exhibitions. It leads you to the garden cafe, which is illuminated with sunlight falling directly on the “installation of faces,'' an art piece expressing various human emotions, erected right on the middle of the floor. The pebblepaved room with cement benches on the first half extends to the inside where iron tables and chairs lend a classic ambience to the place. The wall is adorned with paintings and sculptures carved out of coconut shell and metal. One side of the cafe has no wall, but potted plants, which gives it a homely look and also brings the greenery and sense of space inside. The whole cafe accentuates greenery, which relaxes every visitor.
"This is one of the best hangouts in Fort Kochi. My friend suggested this place to me. He is a frequent visitor to this place and I felt very good being here. The cafe is close to nature and assures maximum privacy and we could spent long hours here," says Herald, who came here with his girlfriend.
More than its marvellous ambience, the cafe is known for its delicious sandwiches, salads, pies and cakes and beverages. Coffee is made out of authentic coffee beans such as Arabic coffee beans.
Those who are in the habit of having a late breakfast will find a lot of solace in this place because 'breakfast' is available any time of the day. Lunch includes salads, sandwiches and soup of the day.
However, the most soughtafter dish at Kashi is its Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Sauce served along with a special cup of coffee.
"You can have tasty and fresh food here. They provide fresh fruits for breakfast and also add herbs to the food, which will keep us fresh. It is a very nice place to sit, read and talk for a long time," says Sandra from Germany, while having her breakfast.
Set in the backdrop of art and greenery, Kashi is a place to relax, enjoy and eat. You could go in with your favourite book and read it along with tasty food. The cafe is open on all the seven days from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm.