Kerala might be famous for its backwaters and beaches but, for us, the first picture it conjures up is an appetising image of the grandiose sadhya – a spread of rice with curries, all served on a plantain leaf. Or, perhaps, the tamarind-infused fish curry, with its tangy flavours. Here’s our pick of best Kerala restaurants in town where you can gorge on delicious delights from God’s Own Country.
Sadhyas, Toddy Shop Specials & Kappa Biryani at Kerala Restaurants of Our Choice
Veruthe Oru Thattukada
With decor that reminds you of the old-school tea shops in Kerala (complete with posters of old movies on the rustic-looking walls), Veruthe Oru Thattukada serves dishes that might just take you back to God’s Own Country. Their Oonu (meals) includes a spread of accompaniments – cabbage thoran (cabbage deep fried with a sprinkling of grated coconut), sambar, avial (mixed vegetables cooked with coconut) and more, with a generous helping of Kerala rice. Their Kappa Biriyani (a delightful dish made with tapioca and meat) also comes highly recommended for its spicy flavours.
Must Try: Appam with stew, Kappa Biriyani
Price: INR 600 for two (approx.)
A pocket-friendly place that offers authentic Kerala food, Jose’s Mess is a favourite among fans of the cuisine. Don’t think twice before you opt for their meals paired up with a serving of yummy Fish Curry or Chicken Roast and a freshly made egg omelette. And, if you happen to be in the area during breakfast time, we suggest you try their Idiappams or Puttu (steamed cake made of ground rice, layered with coconut).
Must Try: Chicken Roast, Idiappams and Puttu
Price: INR 300 for two (approx.)
Easy on the wallet but high on taste, Achayyan’s has a limited menu but don’t let that disappoint you. Try their meals with a side of Ayala Porichathu (mackerel fry) or order yourself a plate of Kerala Porottas (flaky, layered parathas) with spicy Beef Roast. With a humble chairs and tables setup, this place is all about the food. Dig in!
Must Try: Ayala Porichathu and Duck Roast
Price: INR 250 (approx.) for two
Bekal Family Restaurant
We have already raved here about their spicy Syrian Meat Fry and Kallumakai Fry (green mussels pan-fried with grated coconut, cumin and pearl onions). However, Bekal offers a lot more to satisfy your craving for Kerala food. Choose from Aripodi Chemmeen Varuthathu (prawns fried in a rice batter with Kerala spices and served with curry) or Meat Roast to go with your meal and you’ve got yourself a filling lunch, we think. This place offers a nice homely setup and we highly recommend a visit to this moderately priced place.
Must Try: Syrian Meat Fry and Aripodi Chemmeen Varuthathu (prawn curry)
Price: INR 1,000 for two
Salt Mango Tree
Find yourself seated in this warm courtyard setting as you devour some Kerala delicacies from this place. While Salt Mango Tree’s menu also includes Continental cuisine, we suggest you focus on their Kerala dishes. Their Thalassery Chicken Biriyani with its short grain rice and mellow flavours is a must-try as are their interesting combos (dishes that come paired with Kerala Porottas or rice). Oh, and don’t forget to finish off with a helping of Vattalappam, a version of coconut custard that gives the traditional Kerala dessert an interesting twist.
Must Try: Thalassery Chicken Biriyani and Vattalappam
Price: INR 1,200 upwards for two
Vembanad - The Paul
Luxurious, authentic and satisfying, Vembanad boasts of culinary delights from all over Kerala with their exciting menu options. Their starters, from the Prawn Coconut Fry to Crab Meat tossed in Kerala spices, are just as delicious as their main course, the likes of which include their Chemmeen Kizhi (prawns tossed in traditional Malabar spices) and their Kuttanadan Konju Roast (scampi cooked with spices, fenugreek and onions). Their seafood section also includes delicacies flavourful dishes made with fish, prawns, scampi, crab or lobster. You can wash all the seafood down with their in-house beers as well.
Must Try: Seafood Platter, Chemmeen Kizhi
Price: INR 1,750 (approx) for two
This humble eatery offers simple yet tasty dishes, all in true Kerala style. Apart from the regular meals and biriyani varieties, they offer Kuttanadu specialties like Kaada Roast (that’s Kerala style quail roast for you), Duck Roast and Fish Molly (mildly spiced fish stew). A perfect place to grab a quick lunch if you are in the area, you might just end up trying more than what you wanted to.
Must Try: Fish Molly, Kada Roast
Price: INR 750 for two (approx)