Grand Hotel Restauarant is one of the culinary hotspots in Ernakulam (Kochi, Kerala). During my recent visit to Kochi, I dined at their revamped restaurant (I was visiting Grand after four years). The restaurant has now a hint of contemporary design, though the interiors largely reflect the old world charm it had in the yesteryears.
We were keenly looking forward to having some lobster and wine. Unfortunately lobsters were not available, but fortunately they had a good selection of beer and wine!
We ordered a Chemmeen Thakali Ularthu and Meen Pollichathu Moilee Charum as starters. The prawn (chemmeen) dish with tomatoes was perfectly cooked with a hint of kudampuli and curry leaves. The dish was moderately spiced and was easy on the palate.
The Meen Pollichathu Moilee Charum was a piece of King Fish marinated and steamed in a banana leaf parcel. Moilee (or Molly) is a preparation where the fish is steamed in coconut milk with very little spices, so that the flavour of the fish dominates in the dish. Also, souring agents like kudampuli or tamarind are not used in Moilee. Instead, a small quantity of vinegar or lime juice is added to the fish. When we unwrapped the the banana leaf parcel, we found a beautiful piece of fish in yellow marinade. We thought the fish was a too bland for our taste and it was not flaky as it should be.
For the main course, we ordered a Kerala Prawn Curry, Kurumulagu Chertha Kozhi Curry, Appam, Malabar Porotta and steam rice. The Prawn Curry in thick coconut sauce was perfect with the appam. The porotta was not too soft and flaky. We definitely recommend appam with the gravy dishes, if you are opting for the local cuisine.
The chicken curry spiked with black pepper and thick gravy tasted good with the local double boiled red rice.
Grand Restaurant offers excellent Continental, Chinese, Italian and North Indian cuisine apart from the Kerala cuisine, which they are known for. The service is excellent and the ambiance superb. Do visit this restaurant if you are in Ernakulam or Kochi.