If you want to taste Kerala cuisine, where would you go ? To Bangalore of course 😀
No 10. Fort Cochin (NOT to be confused with other restaurants here with similar names), serves Kerala food in the heart of Bangalore. And not just at lunch and dinner but right through the day, starting from breakfast and covering even tea time, with God’s own treats 😀
Opened a few months ago at the same location as the erstwhile Malabar Kitchen, this place belongs to Vinoo Vijayan who is apparently very well known as the person who used to run the popular Seagull restaurant at Fort Cochin, Kerala and who currently owns the highly rated Karthiyayani Hotel at Cherthala, Kerala.
Being away from direct view of the street, this 3rd floor place displays a daily specials board at ground level in order to inform and entice those who might otherwise miss the signs. And tell me really, who would be able to resist a menu that bears tidings of appam, chicken stew, puttu, kadalai curry etc, on a Sunday morning … or any other morning for that matter ?
The space is neat and compact and can seat about 50 people, The decor transports you to Fort Cochin via the murals on the walls that depict glimpses of the city.
Latticed walls let in diffused light and keep the overall brightness to an optimally pleasant level. Another ‘Specials of the day’ board greets you at the entrance and this mainly informs you of the seafood that you can indulge in.
I was invited to try out their breakfast and lunch (on two different occasions of course 😀 ) and being partial to basically all things ‘Mallu’, I was more than pleased to accept.
My breakfast was a sampling of all of the specials on the aforementioned board and also a bit of the regular dosa and chutney and veg stew that was ordered by the vegetarian companion. There was an intense looking egg roast too but I skipped that since I do not eat egg but the others at the table gave it a standing Ova’tion (forgive the lame pun).
Fresh fruit juices and hot beverages are also available, as are the regular South Indian and Western breakfast items.
My lunch on another day, was of course a seafood fiesta. They source their fish from the West coast and specifically where the freshwater meets the Arabian sea, for there is a certain pleasant sweetness in the flavor of the seafood, which results from this tempered down salinity.
Prawn tava fry, prawn roast, an entire Pearl spot fish fry (karimeen), squid rings and a fish chatti curry with chunky slabs of seer, were enough to keep me engrossed and though I barely needed anything else, I was served the flaky Kerala parotta, fluffy appams and a spot of red rice to keep the seafood company. The undoubtedly fresh seafood is enough reason to make repeat visits to this place.
My vegetarian companion was more than content with his Banana leaf sadya (meal) composed of Red rice (you can ask for white but really why would you ???), sambhar, thoran, avial, kalan and puli-inji, which are the traditional items usually served. There was buttermilk to wash it down and Semiya payasam to end it on a sweet note. I stole some of that too.
This meal is very popular with the weekday working crowd. Speaking of crowds and their clamoring, they also do serve a smattering of the ubiquitous North Indian and Chinese but I magnanimously overlooked that aberration, being lulled as I was into my seafood coma 😀
And comatose as we were, we could not but hang around until tea (or coffee) time, where we were served the the batter fried ripe Nendra variety of banana, the popular snack called Pazham pori (do not attempt to pronounce this in such slothful state 😛 ). Crisp on the outside and gooey inside, this does not work well with your conscience, though your palate does not really seek its permission !!!
I do not drink tea or coffee but my companion was more than pleased with the filter version that steamed its way to our table.
At dinner time (no no do not judge us for we did not stay on), they also light up their grill and one can have their seafood done that way.
Visit them for an interesting experience that is also not too heavy on the pocket, considering their prime location.
PS – A sign near the elevator says – In case of fire,do not stop for selfie … I would rather stop to grab a handful of prawns on the way down !!!
Jul 2nd, 2017
For more pictures see My Facebook – No. 10 Fort Cochin