Karimeen Pollichathu, Beef Fry & Kappa: Where To Find Our Fave Kerala Dishes in Chennai

Anna posted on 20 November

When someone mentions “Mallu food”, the images that pop into people’s heads is a plate of Syrian Beef Fry or a delicious Onam Sadhya. But there’s so much more to nammude Malayali cuisine than those two specialties. And these restaurants in the city will definitely prove it to you. With everything from fish curries and Kerala parottas, these eateries will introduce you to a whole new selection of Kerala food.

Nair’s Mess

The infamous Triplicane mess still serves their meals on banana leaves and every single item on their menu is South Indian to the core. And the taste of coconut oil with every bite will definitely transport you to Kerala for the brief moment you’re enjoying your meal. Try the Kappa and Meen Curry for no more than INR 80, because if you’re going to eat really good Malayali food, that’s where you need to start.

Timings: 11am to 3pm & 7pm to 10pm

Fast Food Restaurants

22, Mohammed Abdullah 2nd Street, Opp. Chepauk Stadium, Chepauk, Triplicane, Chennai

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One of the most popular things made in Kerala is fish and being a coastal state, there’s always a lot of fish items served in homes and restaurants. Coastline has the same belief with their delicious seafood offerings. But the only thing we’re going to draw your attention to is the Karimeen Pollichathu, because this pomfret specialty marinated in delicious spices is a must have!

Timings: 12pm to 4pm & 7pm to 11pm

Casual Dining

1, Cathedral Road, Opp. Music Academy, Gopalapuram, Chennai

Ente Keralam

With three outlets in the city, Ente Keralam is definitely the most popular Malayali restaurant. They host special festivals and have visiting chefs coming in from Kerala quite often and they always deliver the best in Kerala cuisine. They have a regular Kerala Sadhya that is served on a banana leaf from Monday to Friday and has rice, curries and vegetables all for INR 255. But they also have Puttu {INR 55} which you must have with Kadala Curry {INR 260} because that is the ideal Kerala breakfast, lunch and dinner if you ask anyone.

Timings: 12pm to 3pm & 7pm to 11pm

Casual Dining

61, 5th Avenue, Shanthi Colony, Anna Nagar East, Chennai

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Another very popular chain of restaurants is Kumarakom {they have six outlets spread over the city} and is named after the village located on the Vembanad Lake in Kerala. They have a lot of familiar dishes from different parts of the country, but your focus should only be on their “special dishes” which includes Duck Roast {INR 260} and even the Karimeen Pollichathu {starts at INR 300, depending on the size} and pair it up with a plate of Kappa {INR 70} and you’re set.

Timings: 7:30am to 9:30am, 12pm to 4pm & 7pm to 11pm

Casual Dining

148/54, Kodambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai


Stepping into this restaurant is like being transported to one of the Kerala restaurants where they used to serve toddy with your meals. And the food does a pretty good of that too. They’ve got some soups and starters, but we’d skip all of that till we get to the Kappa Biryani {INR 130} and the Chicken Varutharacha Curry {INR 140} or maybe you’d like to try their Duck Masala {INR 200} with an Egg Appam {INR 30}, because what is a Kerala meal without an appam or two?


Timings: 12pm to 3:30pm & 7pm to 11pm

Fast Food Restaurants

5, 2nd Avenue, MG Road, Shastri Nagar, Adyar, Chennai

Hotel Crescent

A well-known name for Kerala food, Hotel Crescent has a lot of their old staff members as well, which makes it a second home for regulars. You know what Crescent is famous for? Their Sexy Chicken {INR 330 for the full chicken}, but what they also have and you can’t find in a lot of other restaurants is aila {mackerel}. Like the Karimeen, they have it as a Pollichathu {INR 130} and it’s quite a specialty in Kerala, so get yourself a piece or two.

Timings: 11am to 11pm

Casual Dining

309, Valluvarkottam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai

Dakshin, Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park

If you’re up for spending a little more than usual on some really good Kerala food, then Dakshin is where you need to be. Their menu boasts a variety of South Indian dishes and they will not disappoint. Their Meen Moilee {INR 925} is a terrific choice, with some Avial {INR 595} and a portion of rice makes it a complete and perfect meal.

Timings: 12.30pm to 2.45pm & 7pm to 11.45pm

Fine Dining

Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park, 132, TTK Road, Austin Nagar, Alwarpet, Chennai