Krishna Kripa Seafood, Fort Kochi
Foodies will delight at the vast number of restaurants populating the maze of streets in Cochin, but more specifically Fort Kochi. Krishna Kripa Seafood is just one of the countless locales tempting hungry tourists with freshly caught daily specials. Restauranteurs send staff to Fort Kochi’s waterfront, which lies against the backdrop of the Laccadive Sea, to pick from the famous daily catches sold just steps away from the world-famous Chinese fishing nets. Although not my first choice, Krishna Kripa was a recommendation from my driver adamant that this was the place to eat.
The proximity of the two-storied, open-roof restaurant to the popular Kathakali dance hall allows guests the option of stretching tired legs before dinner. Patrons ascend narrow rickety metal steps to reach the modest-sized rooftop dining area. Packed with 7 tables each able to seat 4, there were 0 customers. It was too late to turn back. The owner was coming up the steps with menus, water, and a giant smile. My mind was quickly conversing with my gut instincts to run. It was obvious my driver had some sort of a relationship with the owner for which he would receive a complimentary meal or some sort of baksheesh for bringing me here.
Heat and humidity, a long drive earlier in the day, and even more sitting during the Kathakali dance performance left me with little appetite. That evening’s special of grilled prawns spoke to me which I combined with an order of peas curry. A foreign couple found their way up the stairs and into the chairs overlooking the street followed shortly by yet another couple. Nearly every table was filled by the time my simple fare arrived. South Indians don’t fuss with food like their northern counterparts. An unassuming plate of grilled prawns served with lemon wedges, no gravy, came with no sides or garnish and unfortunately no spices. The accompanying peas in a deliciously light curry sauce helped offset the rather dry prawns.
Couples will really enjoy the intimate atmosphere of Krishna Kripa Seafood. Low lighting mixed with simple tablecloths and potted plants makes for a kitschy and relaxed setting in the equally laid back coastal city of Kerala.
On a walk early the following morning I stumbled across Krishna Kripa during the daylight. It’s the owner and fellow staff men who were already awake, cleaning and prepping for that evening’s crowd. Alongside the building was my driver washing his car. In exchange for my business the previous night he received dinner, a place to sleep, bathe, park and wash the car, and breakfast. Call that true Fair Trade.
With only one night in Fort Kochi, this would not be my first recommendation, however, it’s reasonably priced compared to the more affluent choices closer to the tourist properties. At just Rs 855, this was a meal easily swallowed by the wallet.