Some things catapult to top news by mere word of mouth and that’s how I heard about the Machli Restaurant in Kochi, Kerala. Top foodie friends told me about it and I was waiting for an opportunity to test it out.
Machli is Hindi word for fish, but please don’t get confused, the place is all Kerala and traditional one for that matter.
I have covered here in my blogs, similar exclusive, relatively most inexpensive and delightfully tasty places like ‘Madhu’s Restaurant’ and ‘Vella Kanthari’.
The opportunity came today when a relation based in United Kingdom and now in Kerala, messaged inviting us for lunch at a place to be suggested by us. And I had no hesitation in making the selection.
Five of us, the husband wife and daughter from UK, my wife and me reached the place and found ourselves in a queue in a crowded first floor restaurant where diners were entertained with sizzling fried fish straight from the cooking tawa.
We managed a small conversation with the owner manager who is managing the crowd and promoting his new items which on the day was a fish platter. His trained eyes identified the table which would be vacated for our queue number and pointed to the place saying that it will be free in 15 minutes.
The wait was actually fun, watching the satisfied diners buying the seafood platter temptingly displayed by the manager in a friendly but aggressive sale. The fun was also in swaying this side and that to avoid the piping hot tawas with freshly cooked seafood brought out of the fairly large sized kitchen.
And then we were seated. The cleaning lady did a good job in cleaning the table swiftly and the Kerala traditional fish curry meals arrived in steel thali plates with provisions for various vegetable preparation and rice in the middle.
My friends had recommended ‘Machli Special’ as a must have special order and we promptly ordered it. It’s a fair sized portion of tawa fresh fried ‘chemballi’ (red snapper) and it was truly delicious and so very fresh. We also had a couple of sea food platter of prawns and squid and some fried sardines.
A very satisfying lunch. Interestingly they had kept along with water ‘kanji’ a healthy traditional thick drink which is called common mans soup. This is the drained water from cooked rice.
And there was payasam, the local dessert.
I heard the parent’s exclamation pointing to the fact that the daughter polished off her potion of the fish specialties. Apparently she’s not a fish person.
Quite intrigued, I asked the young pretty lawyer from London about it and her response sums up the quality of food in Machli Restaurant.
She said that she felt ‘fish’ when she used to try seafood earlier (and I immediately translated to local expression ‘fishy’in my mind). But, she continued, ‘this fish was so fresh and tasty and I enjoyed it’.
Best was the host’s expression when he paid the bill, less than 15 British Pounds for the lovely lunch for 5 people!
Congratulating the restaurant-er and assuring him that I will recommend the place to my acquaintances and also that I will blog about it, I got an extra payasam.