Also known as Cochin, Kochi is a city in southwest India's coastal Kerala state. This attractive city has served as a popular port for over 600 years and is known for its eclectic architecture and its array of religious monuments, museums, galleries, cafes and antique shops. The city stretches across a number of peninsulas and islands, which can be reached by a network of water taxis and bridges. The majority of Kochi’s visitor highlights can be found on the peninsula of Fort Kochi. These highlights include the St Francis Church, the oldest European-built church in India; and Mattancherry Palace, which dates back to 1557 and contains some exceptional Kerala murals and temple art. Other must-see attractions include the Kerala Folklore Museum, displaying more than 4,000 cultural and ethnic artifacts; the 16th-century Jewish Synagogue; and the local market, where the air is filled with the aroma of exotic spices.
Suggested places to eat & drink in Cochin:
Malabar House: located just next to the Parade Ground.
Malabar Junction: a multi cuisine restaurant offering international and Indian cuisine along with seafood speciality. This is renowned to be one of the best restaurants in South India and I wouldn’t disagree. The menu is varied and lives up to expectations. We recommend the Lunchtime Thali, particularly the Vegetarian Thali which is popular in this area of India.
‘Divine’: the wine lounge. Funky, modern bar serving a range of wines and tapas but somehow managing to retain that unique Malabar Escapes Indian style. Fab. Try the degustation wine and tapas.
Brunton Boatyard: located just next to the Chinese fishing nets.
History: a specialty seafood and multi cuisine restaurant (where the menu adopts the names of places pertaining to the times of the British Raj)
Terrace Grill: Fantastic outdoor seafood dining on the first floor with amazing views over the harbour and Chinese fishing nets.
Armoury Bar: great for cocktails, try a Mojito!
Old Harbour Hotel: located opposite the Chinese fishing nets. Dining at Old Harbour Hotel is a delight, particularly at night when the garden is lit up to create a magical atmosphere. The restaurant has an indoor dining area that spills out onto a terrace with tables dotted around the garden and under the ancient mango tree. There is a good range of Western and local cuisine to suit most palettes but the speciality has to be the fish which is freshly caught just across the road! There is a special seafood menu and barbecue every night in the garden. We also enjoyed the duck curry – another Keralan speciality. All vegetables are organically grown and there is an emphasis on freshly squeezed juices.
Masala Fort: Bastion Street, behind Post Office, Fort Cochin. Contact number +91 9947487613, +91 9946849490. Owned & run by our good friends, Sophiya & Adrian D’souza (ex Malabar House), this is great value, great tasting local food.