Kerala Food Highlight: Grandma’s Cafe

I hear a lot about a Thekkady-based joint called Grandma’s Cafe, so on my second (and last) evening there, I finally decide to give it a try.

This place is an institution, and is known for it’s mix of Continental, non-Kerala Indian, and Kerala cuisine, and being a favourite of travellers. I found it in my Lonely Planet guide book and on Tripadvisor, where there seemed to be a rather lively debate on whether they serve beer.

They do serve beer. But that is not the only, or most important reason you should go.

As I write this, I have yet to travel to Kochi, but I have to say that Grandma’s was the best meal I had in Kerala.

Although there appears to be a door, you have to enter through a narrow alley on the side. There is what appears to be patio-style seating, with stones scattered underfoot. The tables and chairs are wooden with flat cushions for customer comfort.

A sewing machine sits in one corner, and most of the wall has been converted into a chalk board, with messages from the patrons. Many of the early diners are alone, or in pairs. Tube lights and whirring fans hang from the ceiling, and the Black-Eyed Peas are playing in the background. It is perfection.

Beer isn’t on the menu, but like I said they do serve it. You just have to ask. You will only get a big bottle of Kingfisher, no small bottles, and from what I could see, nothing else. Though I’m not much of a Kingfisher drinker, it sort of goes with the whole vibe of the place, and I found myself really enjoying it.

What is on the menu, is hangover recovery tips, and a rather stern reminder to customers not to steal the menu. If it’s that important to us, they are happy to provide us with an alternate solution.

The place smells deliciously of coconut milk simmering and spices.  I order the Travancore mutta curry and the Mushroom ularthiyathu (someone from Kerala please help me pronounce this word!) with plain white rice.

The food is delicious, though I cannot finish the white rice, which leads to an admonishing look from the server. I glance guiltily back at my Kingfisher that I do finish.

As I pay my bill and rise to leave, I know I would want to come back to Thekkady, just to eat at this place. Everything was absolutely perfect. Till next time Grandma 🙂

Grandma’s Cafe is located at:

Thekkady Bypass Road, near Green View Residency, Thekkady 685509

Tel: +91 9995317261

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