Kayees - The Biriyani Kings of Cochin

Review of the king of Cochin biriyanis - Kayees in Cochin


Opened in 1949, this simple canteen serves the best biriyani in town for about 30 rupees, with forks available if you need them.

It opens at noon and 6.30pm every day and each sitting closes when the food runs out.

Kayees Review

from Hindu oN Net

It is a typical case of the queen meeting her match. The Queen of the Arabian Sea has had her king of biriyani around for a while. For over 40 years. And, the party continues.

From its humble origins to the present, Kayees Rahmatullah Hotel on the New Road in the heart of Mattancherry has continued to rule the taste buds. For every visit to this little shrine of good food is as memorable as any of the historical monuments at this port town.

The hotel may have lost count of the number of celebrities on its list of fans. Most recently, the renowned painter, M. F. Hussein, was there, playing his part so well. The sketch of a goat in black ink hangs prominently on the walls of Kayees in memory of this visit.

The print media itself is not tired of celebrating Kayees, missing no opportunity to praise its dedication to the art of catering.

When it all began, things were not as easy as it all seems now. Kayee was a hardworking man who chanced upon the idea of providing tasty food to people and making a living out of it.

He began as a hotel hand and then slowly ventured out on his own, exploring for himself the wide world of culinary arts at a time when the world was more conservative about what and who ruled their taste buds.

Budding as a one-man catering service, Kayee's enterprise has bloomed into a brand name recognised all over South India when it comes to mouth-watering biriyanis.

K. H. Shareef, son of the late Mr. Kayee, and his nephew, V.K. Musthafa, have taken the business to new heights through their dedication and love for their enterprise.

Even in the era of pizzas and fast food, Kayees evokes enthusiastic response from those who have been to this humble restaurant that serves biriyanis of all descriptions in immaculate surroundings.

Mr. Musthaffa says that the Kayees restaurant caters to about 500 people on a daily average. Demand for its biriyani, ghee rice, fish stew and mutton curry is legendary. Of course, the reasonable price for these makes it doubly attractive for any visitor to the restaurant.

Adding to the charm is the fact that a visit to Kayees would put one through a wild bout of nostalgia. Period furniture and hadn-wound clocks make it complete.

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