As this post goes up, it is time to step in through the front door of 51. On Bazar Road, neighboring the spice merchants who have been plying their trade for centuries here in the Mattanchery neighborhood of Fort Kochi, you will see this sign on the left side of the road passing from the Brunton Ferry in the direction of the Dutch Palace.
It is time, at this moment, to sample more of the chef’s lunch menu items. Several of us have been bouncing ideas around with the chef (more on whom in a subsequent post) since late 2013, and sampling actual dishes for nearly two months now. The idea of the cuisine at 51, especially the lunch and dinner menus, is to offer dishes with flavors simultaneously showcasing the historic role of Cochin harbor for spice traders going back centuries, and the traditions of shipmates who brought with them foodways from all over the world over those centuries. Locally sourced ingredients from the Malabar Coast, combined with Eastern Mediterranean foodways, provide the chef at 51 a remarkable latitude to create meals that are the best we have had in Kerala.
Recently, this included a sampling of gnocchi with three different spice-accented sauce accompaniments, together with a seafood soup: