Cochin Restos Foodie adventures

Catch and Cook at Fort Kochi

Tuesday, November 09, 2010Me! In words

We spent a week in Cochin. It was a brilliant week - a holiday that we really needed. Of course, needless to say we ate more fish that would in an entire year. Its almost as if the ocean opened up a her own version of Pandora's box and we made a clean sweep of it. One of the first things we tried was the catch and cook at Fort Cochin. The day began with a boat tour of some of the main spots in Cochin. When it got to the legendary fishing nets, we decided to get off the boat and head to out for lunch. Its great when Cochin is home for Sudhakar and you have people who know their way around and the local language. We were were Sudhakar's cousin, Prashanth and his family as well as friends of their Naveen, Nandini and their daughter Neema. 

How catch and cook works is very simple. There are several rows of fishermongers selling an unbelievable range of fish and most of them were still writhing around. For the crabs, it was more of walk in small crates. You select what you want from one place. A guy will take your load and take it to the other side of the road, where each fishermonger has a kitchen and small sidewalk restaurant of their own. They cook it the way you like - the typical kerala way, continental or made to order just the way you want it. 

Maxim's - from where we picked up our fish

A look at some of the fish

And so our haul for the day was crabs (2 kilos), king-sized prawns (1 kilo), fresh squid (1 Kilo) and of course kari-meen (6-8 fish). We made our selection from Maxim's and headed to their restaurant. It takes quite a while for the cooking to be done, a good 45 minutes or so. But that's natural. We asked for the crabs to be made into a curry, the prawns into a chilli fry, the squid to be dry as well and the kari-meen to be fried. And below you will see all that we ate. Jughead would have been put to shame.  

Maxim's Restaurant

Entry way to the kitchen (Up)
The beginning of the cooking process below

And now for the food. We also ordered a few rounds of rice, chapathis and a couple of soft drinks. 

The prawns... absolutely divine, fried first and then tossed in a spicy chilli mix

The squid... I just couldn't get enough of this. The base was tomato and onion and the seasoning and spice were kept to the minimum

The crab curry - spicy would be too simple a word. It also got us all down to basics. We began to use both hands and it was totally worth the effort. 

The Kari-meen - fried to perfection. It takes a while to eat this bony fish, but you will be one satisfied little kitten at the end of it. 

Evidence of the carnage 

What these places should consider is also having the option of tummies given out on rent. Sudhakar really felt we all needed one. And I totally agree. You just can't stop eating. Lunch which began around 1.30 went on till almost 4.30 pm. All of this along with 3 or 4 dishes being parceled and the cooking charges came to around Rs 4000, which for six adults and 3 kids with a decent appetite was really good. There is no chance of something like this in Bangalore. 

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