Kayeekka’s Biriyani

Picture 038 You may have come across the name “Kayeekka” if you have read through the chain mail extolling the Malayali stereotypes. A few months back, a colleague had forwarded such a mail and I was very surprised to see the reference to “Kayeekka”. I assumed Kayeekka to be one of the “national” treasures of Kochi!

Working out of the restaurant in the bustling town of Mattancherry, Kayeekka became famous for his mouthwatering and scrumptious biriyani. The visitors seldom ate in the restaurant. Instead, they packed their biriyani and ate it inside the comfort of their homes or offices. Even then, the restaurant was crowded which speak volumes about the value for money! At present, Kayeekka is no longer alive. But his biriyani legacy lives on.

Picture 041 Now, we don’t need to travel through the narrow crowded streets of Mattancherry to devour Kayeekka’s biriyani. Kayees Hotel has opened up on Durbar Hall Road in Ernakulam. The biriyani is prepared from a central location and transported to the hotel where the different ingredients are mixed together before serving! Like the hotel in Mattanchery, this also is frequented by people who like to take away their biriyani. So, they have a waiting room that can seat at least 20 people.

The walls are adorned with testimonials from the rich and famous clientele. M F Hussain is featured on the wall. The photo is very old and he is photographed with the management at that time. He has also gifted two sketches for the restaurant. The walls also feature a picture of Mammootty and his testimonial.

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If you are visiting Kochi/Ernakulam, don’t miss this! You will have a taste of our own biriyani.

Picture Courtesy: Mitzzz who is in the pictures!

Tags: Restaurants,Travels,Kayeekka


  1. bring out the next one.. trip to boothathan kettu..

  2. My favourite is a Biryani & will surely try this out nxt time when I am in Ernakulam (hv not been there in a long while though)

  3. Never heard about Kayeeka's shop..Will try when i visit mattenchery...anyways thanks for sharing abt it....I tried Rappais thattu kada in Cochin few times.

  4. grt info!!will certainly do tat!!

  5. He could make a small fortune from the Hussain sketches. I wonder if he realises that... possibly not, if he has just pinned them to the board.

  6. oh yeah, I visited the Durbar Hall hotel last year but the taste of the new Kayees is not as mouth-watering as the old one. My uncle once took me to the old Mattancherry hotel some 15 year back. Though there are countless biriyani huts around Kochi now, nothing would beat the old Kayees.

  7. That sounds delicious! Biryani is my all time favourite.

  8. @Pesto Sauce - It is! :)

    @Mitz - I will definitely try!

    @Vaz - I could not get a map location for the place. But you can ask anyone once you reach Durbar Hall Road.

    @Anish - This one is in Ernakulam! But the original hotel still is in Mattancherry. According to the experts, the Mattancherry one tastes better! I'm not sure how since the biriyani is made from a central location and then transported!

    @Vishwamitran - Great! Let me know once you have tried it!

    @Radha - Yes, he could make a fortune! But, the publicity he gets for his place by displaying the pictures is more than what he can earn by selling it. In worst case scenario like business failure, he can also sell these pictures. ;)

    @ScorpioGenius - :) I have heard this before! Over the years, the taste gets diluted!

    @Aparna - Yes it is! This should be a "to-do" in your list when you visit Kerala.


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