At first sight, Karim’s is not so much a restaurant as a puzzling low-level building-complex.
Entering into a blind alley, you are met by a confused group of eating-rooms and open-fronted kitchens.
They all form part of Karim’s Restaurant.
Karim’s is so popular that at peak hours there are usually long and hungry queues waiting to be seated.
Pre-warned, we opted to eat early.
I chose a simple chicken curry, served with freshly baked naan bread: it was utterly delicious. I have been eating curries since early childhood but this was the best I have ever tasted!
Robin, my good friend and travel buddy, expressed due remorse : he had chosen something a little fancier – but not half as wonderful as my chicken curry.
I showed commendable virtue and let him dunk his naan bread in my gravy.
Never let it be said that I lack magnanimity!
True to form, by the time we left the restaurant, people were queuing outside to take our place.
We had urged our young cyclist-guide to join us as a guest for lunch. But he politely declined.
I am not sure if he was a Hindu who couldn’t face a non-vegetarian meal, or if he worried lest we deduct the cost of his meal from a possible cash tip, which might be far more important to his family’s survival..
Returning to Cochin, I hoped to find the restaurant we used on our outbound journey.
Although its wash-rooms had been busy with mosquitoes – a hazard that afflicts lady diners more than men – my guests particularly enjoyed the food.
It was a forlorn hope:
None of us had any idea of its name and we now had a different driver.
As the hours passed and we all became increasingly hungry,
I realised just how impractical the idea was.
With solemn reference to “stepping into the same river twice” and embracing new experiences, I asked Solly, our driver, to stop at the first decent-looking eatery.
Just a few moments later, a sign advertising good food appeared. Solly slowed the car to cross the road and enter a car-park.
It was, of course, the same restaurant we had so happily patronised four days previously.
And the food?
Just as good as before.
Though, for the life of me, I still cannot remember its name..
Pictures taken in a restaurant somewhere on the road from Cochin to Trivandrum, Kerala.