Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The View from Marine Palace Restaurant

The view from the Marine Palace Restaurant in Varkala, Kerala is ever-changing. During my recent visit I spent hours drinking tea and fresh juices while watching the beach scene just steps below the cafe. On the shores of the Arabian Sea, fishermen empty their nets of shiny-skinned fish, westerners tan their browning hides, and locals worship ancestors on the holy beach before at sacred ocean waters. Wildlife lovers can spot white-bellied sea eagles and other birds of prey swooping down toward the fishermen's catch and schools of dolphin arcing from the sea.

Its such a comfy spot—a breeze blows through the outdoor restaurant, the palm thatched roof shades patrons from the strong Keralan sun and the sandy floor is cool on the feet. At night festive colored lights wind up teakwood columns and dangle from cashew nut tree branches.

And the food? It's tasty, inexpensive, copious and very fresh. One late afternoon I sipped a tall glass of watermelon juice and watched as two men rushed through the cafe struggling with a 90 pound marlin. They carried it down the steps and hoisted it onto the beachfront grill. Then they piled on tuna, butter fish, snapper, barracuda, giant prawns, and other fresh-caught fruits de mer for the evening dinner.

The restaurant is located on the grounds of the intimate Marine Palace Hotel that offers 14 rooms. Stay at one of the newly built Keralan style cottages featuring front and back verandas . The staff is sweet and owner Sudharji Bhasker is charming and accommodating.


  1. It sounds like a dream! I wish I was there with you :)

  2. So glad you posted this, Kathy! I hope you're having an amazing time.

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