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.
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.
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!