Frys on Chittoor Road in Ernakulam is an iconic restaurant serving simple Kerala cuisine. I have visited this restaurant several times (about 20 years back or so). On my last day in Kochi, I decided to have lunch in Frys for sheer nostalgia. The experience turned out to be much more than that.
We got comfortable seating in the ac dining hall (yes, ac dining halls and family dining rooms are a common feature in many restaurants in Kerala).
We ordered Pineapple Juice, a Mutton Biryani and Fish Curry Meals and a Ayala (mackerel) Fry.
The Pineapple Juice was freshly made and the sweetness with a tinge of tanginess was perfect for the parched throat.
The Mutton Biryani was served with a raita, lime pickle and freshly fried crispy poppodums. The biryani, full of subtle flavours – nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, cloves – was well cooked. The mutton pieces were succulent and had a great coating of caramelised onions and spices. The onion and cucumber raita and lime pickle were great accompaniments to this dish.
The star of the day, of course, was the Fish Curry Meals (thali). The spicy and sour fish curry had Kera fish (similar to Neymeen, but a little hard, I was told) was simply brilliant. Nothing would have been better than the parboiled red rice to savour the spiciness of the curry. There was also a spicy coconut chutney, avial (a green thick gravy of vegetables cooked with coconut), a Mezhukkupuratti made of potato and string beans, sambhar, rasam, payasam, buttermilk and lime pickle.
The Ayala Fry was deep fried and was served with its own masala, onions and lime wedges. I found the fish too oily for my liking. The fish was also little hard from frying it for a longer time than required.
The food they serve in Frys is reminiscent of home-cooked cuisine and will definitely make you visit God’s Own Country again!