Shopping is not really something I do much anymore in person. If I have to buy something, I usually will just go online, try to find the best deal, do a few clicks, and have something delivered to me. Being in malls while traveling is something I also avoid. Part of it is because I don’t necessarily travel solely to buy things, and the other part is that Chris absolutely detests malls. But when I found out our hotel was literally right next door to the famous Lulu International Shopping Mall, I figured we might as well go check it out, and if for nothing else, then most definitely the FOOD COURT. Food courts in the U.S. absolutely bore me, but internationally, I always find them interesting, similar to how I like going to local markets and supermarkets. It’s fun to see what people like to eat in other places.
Lulu Mall covers over 17 acres, so it’s not only one of the largest malls in all of India, but it’s also the number 1 tourist attraction for Kochi the city on TripAdvisor apparently. Inside, there is a massive arcade and entertainment center, as well as a bowling alley. The “hypermarket” on the main floor was a total zoo, but had every single grocery and kitchen item imaginable there. When we got to the food court, my jaw almost dropped: it was like an Indian foodie’s dream: almost everything I could possibly want to eat that is Indian food was there. All the usual northern Indian dishes were represented, but the southern Indian food representation was INSANE. Endless dals, curries, appams, dosas, idlis, Kerala fish fry, Kerala beef fry — you name it, and it was in that freaking food court. And then, what REALLY got me excited: THERE WERE ENDLESS Indian Chinese food options!!!!!
In New York, we have Tangra Masala to satiate our Indian Chinese food cravings. It is still, to this day, one of my top 5 most loved restaurants in New York, if not the world. When Chris ordered some chili noodles today from a stall at the food court, it was so, so addictive: it had that nice wok fry flavor, Chinese seasonings, with Indian spices and heat. It was so, so good. While Kaia can handle a decent amount of heat for her age, these noodles were clearly spicy for her; she kept going back for more water, and as she ate more noodles, she kept slurping, indicating the heat was getting to her, but kept going back for more, in between bites of her mutton biryani.
In addition to these stalls, we also got excited at a juice stall, where Chris picked up freshly blended kiwi juice; a FALOODA Nation stall (OMG OMG, falooda!!!! LOVE); and an ice cream stand that just had different fruit flavors, even jackfruit and alphonso mango, of kulfi. I could have honestly spent the whole week just eating at that mall and have been totally satisfied.