Once, not so long ago, a toddy shop was considered a common man's bar and toddy a common man's drink. This concept has changed - drastically over the last couple of years. Now, toddy shops - not all, mind you, are among the most sought after places for good food and some fun times with family and friends. The typical local cuisine being the USP. The kappa (tapioca)- meen (fish) curry combo are the hot favorites. Apart from seafood these shops are also famous for their desi avatars of duck, beef and pork. Rahul N Kutty, who writes on Foodscene and an active member of the EatKochiEat group on Facebook lists out five toddy shops that you should not miss while in town.
The first name that comes to your mind, when you think food at a toddy shop is Mullapanthal. People from across the globe visit this joint. Their mouthwatering dishes is what endears them to all. It is a friendly place that you can visit with your family. You cannot leave this place without trying ‘fish thala curry’ which is a dark red curry accompanied with tapioca. Another heavenly treat for your taste buds is the meen pollichathu (fish covered in masala and wrapped in a banana leaf and then heated in a pan. The banana leaf locks the flavor which in turn tickles your senses)
Location : MLA Road, Udayamperoor, Tripunithura
2) Nettoor Toddy Shop
Nettoor toddy shop stands apart for its unique ambiance. It is surrounded by water on three sides and you can take in this scenic beauty as you savor the delicacies. A family friendly place, the most sought after dish here is Prawns ularthiyathu. A traditional style of preparation in coconut oil and the tiny coconut pieces add extra flavor to this dish. You should also not miss the crab masala if you are at Nettoor toddy shop. The taste of the food served here will remain in your memories for a long time.
Location : Near Nettoor old market
3) Kadamakudy Toddy Shop
Kadamakudy is a village in Ernakulam district surrounded by water, which makes this place unique and beautiful. The walk through the paddy field is an experience in itself. This place is famous for its clams roast (kakka irachi) which is freshly caught from the rivers and paddy fields of Kadamakudy. This dish is cooked with shallots and pepper powder which gives it an amazing aroma. The deadly combination of beef and puttu is another must try dish. A glass of toddy will help you sweeten the spiciness of curries. This too is a family friendly place.
Location : Devasampadam Road, Kadamakudy, Varapuzha
4) Padipura Toddy Shop
Padipura toddy shop is a must try place for food lovers who are looking for a place to enjoy a wonderful nadan meal with yummy fish curry and fish leaf fry. Beef roast with appam combo and pork fry are quite famous here. You may not experience a great ambiance but the food is definitely mouth watering.
Location : Udayamperoor, Tripunithura
5) Kudapuram Toddy Shop
Eramallor, a village in Kochi, is also famous for its toddy shop called Kudapuram. The main attraction of this place is the fresh river fish which is caught from the river next to the toddy shop. Fish thala curry, crab roast, pork masala are the must try items here. Families have a special dine-in place. These curries go well with the freshly prepared kappa which is a tasty treat for your taste buds.
Location : Eramalloor Ferry, Eramalloor