You’re a vegetarian? Oh…there are nice places for that kind of food too,” said the homestay owner in a rather disinterested voice.
I understand why a vegetarian traveller in Kerala would be looked at as a weirdo but there are a lot of lovely places that cook some good vegetarian fare here. I walked around for three days in Fort Kochi and it was not a bad experience at all. If you too are a vegetarian and planning to visit Fort Kochi, don’t miss out on these places.
Kashi Art Cafe, Burghar Road: This was my favourite. Here you can bask in sunlight and listen to bird songs amid sheltering bamboos. You enter the cafe through an art gallery. The cafe itself is rather spacious in the way it is laid out and mid-way, there is a tiny garden open to the skies. The bamboo curtains, dark red flooring, wooden furniture and green accents create a warm and cosy ambience. The place is mature, peaceful and yet rather hip!The food is decent too. I had salad, cake with chocolate sauce and lime juice.
Oy’s Cafe, Burghar Road: This is a cool place and very colourful and friendly. Kashi Art Cafe and Oy’s Cafe are neighbours and thrive and thrum just down the road from each other. They also offer rather similar food options - simple neutral cafe fare with a few meals thrown in for safety. But that is where the similarity ends. Ambience is a huge part of the charm of this restaurant especially when food is not the main draw.
Oy’s is a little more funky and full of cafe regulars and waiters who know them. It felt almost like a best friend’s house you’ve grown to know like your own.
Cafe Teapot: True to its name, this place has a lot of teapots. Designed for modern sensibilities, this place probably is the least bit local in food or decor. But then again, sometimes you want that lovely cafe that takes you back to your big city. What I mean is that this cafe could be in Mumbai. The decor is quirky. There are antique cigarette boxes arranged in one corner, teapots hanging from the ceiling and distressed furniture, walls and tables.
You can choose to sit downstairs or climb the narrow steps and sit upstairs. The sunlight filters in and out and the fans whirr on and on in that soothing way. I really liked the entrance with the creeper threatening to take over the facade. Drop by for a coffee, a quick sandwich or even that comforting tea-cake.
Fusion Bay, near Santacruz Basilica: Visit this place for a hearty meal. This is a loud, cheerful place with good food and sufficient vegetarian options too. The place is always crowded and this is proof that their food is great. Remember to specify whether you want your food spicy or non-spicy.
Cafe at David Hall: Visit this place for a lingering dinner. This is an old heritage house. You enter through the art gallery and walk to the yard at the back. The tables and chairs are to one side and there are corridors circling a huge tree in the middle of a tiny garden. It is romantic and peaceful and is a great place to spend the evening after a busy day. I was also told that this place always has some kind of exhibition, event, live concert, talk etc going on in the evenings. Their pizza is great, the crust is delightfully thin and the toppings are generous.
Casa Linda: Everyone was talking about it but maybe the chatter exceeded the reality. Their pasta is rather Indian in taste, but then again maybe I chose wrong. Give it a shot and you just may get luckier than I was.
Point to be noted: None of these places that I have mentioned serve alcohol and if you want some, then you have to visit the restaurants in the hotels around the Vasco Square. If you walk around the Parade Ground, you will also find a lot of up-market restaurants.
Bhavani blogs @http://merrytogoaround.com/