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“unique and tasty chicken fry..a must try in trivandrum” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kethels Chicken

Kethels Chicken
Rahmaniya Lane, | Chalai bazaar, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), India
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Cuisines: Indian
Restaurant details
Chennai (Madras), India
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“unique and tasty chicken fry..a must try in trivandrum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

this is a small restaurant in the busy chalai area of trivandrum serving tender succulent pieces of chicken fry with chapathi, gravy and pickle. the chicken fry is unique in that only young ("adolescent") chicken are used for preparation and the masala is traditional and authentic to travancore cuisine. of late, they have started a parcel counter at attakulangara junction for those who feel hindered by busy traffic to reach the original chalai outlet...a must try for food connoisseurs while in trivandrum

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“The Legend of KCF”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

If you are in Trivandrum, this is a must do if you like street food. This place serves arguably the most different yet tastiest chicken fry you will ever find. Kethel Chicken is Trivandrum's answer to the tasteless chicken brands sold by national and international food chains. Served with thin rotis (chapati), unlimited Lime Juice and with affection, this is a feast for any foodie. While eating, you could hear the owners taking orders on the phone and giving instruction to keep packs of 1000s and 5000s ready for who's who of Kerala. Believed to me the favourite of both Super Stars, Mohan Lal and Mammootty, it got mentioned in the movie "Salt and Pepper".

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ernakulam, Kerala, India
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
645 helpful votes 645 helpful votes
“The Wonderful Kethel's Chicken Fry - Now Travels From Trivandrum To Kochi!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

Kethel's Chicken Fry - KCF

Move over KFC our own home-grown six decade old KCF

By D Purushothaman Pillay

Just last fortnight, with the intent of discovering a new dining experience; we homed in on the Rahmaniya Hotel Kochi, after a marathon internet search. The restaurant is located at a hotel called the A.J. Residency, on V K Menon Road, behind Lenin Centre, in Kaloor, very close to the Kadavanthra traffic signal. This quick service restaurant occupies the ground floor adjacent to the reception of the hotel. The modest dining area that seats about 40 odd customers in one sitting was full with people, even at an early supper time of seven in the evening. There were at least fifteen other people, like us, waiting to be seated. It took around ten minutes to finally land a table. During the wait we learnt that the place had only one trademark combination on the menu and that was the signature - Kethel Chicken Fry. The meal comprised of 8 Tender Chicken Fry pieces, 5 Chapathis or 1 bowl of Ghee Rice, Chicken Curry, Lime Pickle and Sweet Lemonade. The only additional dish that was available was the Chicken Liver Fry.

I will never forget my first careless bite into the Kethel Chicken, mind you the chicken is always served piping hot, and that absolutely set fire to the rims of my lips and my mildly blanched tongue was set ablaze with the amazing flavor of the spice-rich, red chilly based secret recipe. The soothing aroma of virgin coconut oil in which this chicken is fried on a log-fire, that wafted thick in the air didn't help, but the unlimited sweetened lime juice left in big steel jugs on the tables, came in very handy to settle you in and douse the initial scalding calescence felt in the mouth. The eight small chicken pieces with copious amounts of the masala, garnished lavishly with fried red chilies were served on a banana leaf layered plate, wonder if that also contributes to the taste. The chicken was amazingly tender and the meat just slid out of the bones as they were introduced into the mouth. The five small chapathis were oil-free and very soft; it went very well with the thick gravy of the accompanying chicken curry, which is made with the remnants of the unfried chicken portions. One serving is one full chicken which is cut into eight fried pieces and the rest served in the curry. Even the lime pickle though hardly used, in such an explosion of taste, was very good. A word about the service, it was brisk and very efficient and operated like clockwork.

After having had one of the most memorable fried chicken experiences in a long time; I was enthused to find out more about the fascinating history of this over 60 year old secret recipe. I then got chatting with the charming Khaja Mueenudeen who runs this place in Kochi. I learnt from him that the first restaurant of the Rahmaniya Hotel chain that started serving this dish was established way back in 1949 at the Chalai Bazaar in Thiruvananthapuram by his grandfather, the late Muhammed Abdul Khader. The over sixty year old secret spice-blend was concocted by and named after him. During the British rule, being originally a tea vendor he used to walk the bazaar with a kettle in hand serving his addictive brew that earned him the sobriquet –“Kethel Sahib”. Later, when he set up an eatery which served fried chicken he christened the dish 'Kethel chicken', to capitalize on the goodwill he enjoyed with his tea-drinking clientele, this legend serves as one of the first anecdotes of brand diversification in Kerala. After his passing, the recipe was inherited by Maheen his son who is also the father of Mueenudeen. The Rahmaniya brand currently operates four restaurants located across the geography of Kerala at Trivandrum, Kollam , Kochi and Calicut.

He further elaborated that they desist from the use of any out-sourced broilers and only pure corn-fed organically raised, fresh chicken sourced from their in-house poultry farms in Tamil Nadu are used in their various restaurants. These farm-bred fowls are culled in the halal tradition, only on attaining a 500g weight threshold over a long 50 day period. All the spices that go into preparing the chicken are freshly handpicked from time-tested, reliable organic farms.

It is indeed worth wondering how this over six decade old Kethel's Chicken Fry has been enjoying an enduring popularity, with both the masses and the classes, with only a single trademark offering. Suffice it to say, the brand, has been thriving on the undying loyalty of its faithful customers, and without any advertising whatsoever, it has been flourishing only by word of mouth publicity and the occasional write-up in dailies. This is indeed one reputation built on the testimonials of a legion of its admiring devotees. The secret of its amazing success must also be largely attributed to its affordability; the four of us had fried chicken to our heart's content and yet the bill only came up to a paltry unbelievable 350 Rupees.

Pinch yourself to believe this; the cost of one full chicken trademark KCF, with all its accompaniments, mentioned above is only Rs 140, the additional chicken liver fry comes in at Rs 40. The Kochi restaurant is open for twelve hours between 1130 am and 1130 pm. It is fabled that, whatever be the time of the day or the day of the week, one has to be invariably prepared for a small wait before one can sink their teeth into the delicacy.

Last word, Kethel's Chicken Fry - KCF is tender organic chicken cooked to perfection at its spicy tasty best! If you eat chicken, then you have to go here. What a welcome discovery it has been, we will certainly be returning there again and again!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaverton, Oregon, United States
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“One place to visit while ur in TVM”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

A must place to have a meal while ur visit to Trivandrum , the chicken was simple juicy and tender and the tastiest I have ever had in my entire life .... Hats off to the chefs

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), India
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Kethaels Chicken”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

You will have to taste Kathels chicken at least once in in your life time.You will never get this taste any where else in the world.Kethaels chicken is tender chicken pieces which fryed in real coconut oil with kerala spices,Served in banana leaf with chapathi and lime pickle. For drink they serve lime juice as free of cost as much we wand.But if your looking for any star you will not get it.Its a simple restaurant in galley on Chali bazar in the hear of trivandrum city.But this tasted you didnt get from any star hotels around the world

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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