[Kochi, India] Lunch at Jetty Restaurant, Forte Kochi

Our first day in Kochi (formerly Cochin), a serene, laidback seaside town with a mix of Portuguese, Dutch and colonial-British architecture. Some eclectic sights we saw yesterday included giant Chinese fishing nets dating back to Kublai Khan’s era, and the 500-year-old Pardesi synagogue in Kochi’s Jewish quarter.

Kochi’s cosmopolitan people are artistic and expressive, and the town has a scattering of cafes, art galleries and clothing boutiques.

Lunch today was at the Jetty Restaurant at Forte Kochi on Princess Street, the retail epicentre of the old Fort area.

Kerala is synonymous with coconuts, and the Jetty served them chilled, whole:

Our lunch consisted of:

  1. Malabari mutton kuruma with appam - nothing says “Keralan cuisine” more than the combination of moist appam rice pancakes (made from fermented rice flour, coconut milk, and coconut water) with Ishtu, a rich-tasting gently-spiced local stew. The rendition here at the Jetty paired mutton kuruma (a local version of the North Indian korma) with the appams.

Absolutely loved the creamy, coconut milk-enriched sauce, thickened with cashews. The spicing was subtle here, but with balanced aromas and flavours.

The mutton chunks was, on the whole, fall-apart-tender, although I also encountered a couple of gristly bits which had to be discarded after some arduous chewing.

  1. Alleppey fish curry - the classic Keralan curry: chunks of fish (mahi-mahi used here at Jetty) with slices of raw green mango, in a sourish, coconut milk-rich curry gravy. It was truly addictive, and one was tempted to upend the bowl and drink every drop of that gravy!

Whilst I enjoyed this mahi-mahi prep, I missed Chef Naren Thimmaiah’s version using seer fish at Bangalore’s Karavalli restaurant where I had my first taste of this dish nearly 20 years ago.

  1. Kuttanadan prawn curry - this is another curry which combined a seafood (shrimps, in this case) with raw mango in a curry stew thickened with coconut milk. Whilst I enjoyed the dish, the shrimps were dry and hard, way past “overcooked”. A pity really - done well, this could’ve been a star dish.

Overall, lovely restaurant with superb service, but with food which could be either a hit or a miss. They still needed to ramp up their effort in the kitchen a few notches before they could become a dining destination.

Jetty Restaurant
Forte Kochi, Princess St, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001, India
Tel: +91484 270 4800
Opening hours: 7.30am to 11pm daily


Great photo of the artist, Peter. You capture him well.


Thanks, John - he was rather photogenic.

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The synagogue looks about as maintained as the ones in Bombay, wish there was more attention paid to them.

Lovely pics.

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