Kochi’s 9 Best Dining Experiences | Best Restaurants In Kochi


  • Kochi’s restaurant and food scape has been shaped by locals and tourists
  • Kashi Art Cafe is one of the city’s most atmospheric dining spaces
  • Don’t leave Kochi without checking out the toddy shop

I’m seated at Thai Soul, Kochi’s first true-blue Thai restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty. I can’t help eavesdropping on a conversation where the ‘order taker’ is attempting to take a bunch of diners through the menu. He doesn’t have to. These diners like many of Kochi’s well-heeled know their Thai. For long India’s mini metros took cues from the larger metropolitan cities. This was certainly the case when it came to dining and restaurant trends. Kochi has set its own path in the 2010s. This is a rare city where the city’s restaurant and food scape has been shaped by locals, tourists and the state’s large diaspora, who have experimented with a variety of cuisines in cities like Dubai. Kochi’s best dining experiences are an eclectic mix of traditional eateries, cafes housed in colonial era buildings and high-end dining experiences where the food is top class. Here’s our pick:

Kashi Art Cafe

One of the best adverts for Fort Kochi’s fascinating cafe wave. Kashi is one of those oases where Indian and overseas tourists can spend hours over a late breakfast – their French toast is a true Instagram phenomenon. It’s one of the city’s most atmospheric dining spaces where object d’art merges seamlessly with the interiors. The cafe is housed in one of Fort Kochi’s heritage buildings and is a big draw with locals and tourists alike.

Where: Burgher Street, Fort Kochi.

Kayees Rahmatulla Cafe

It’s impossible to pick the perfect time to visit this cult restaurant in one of Mattancherry’s busiest streets. I discovered that 11:30 am is too early and 12:30 pm is too late for lunch. It’s almost impossible to snag a table after 12 noon and the restaurant runs out of its signature mutton biryani in no time. The biryani is served with the traditional Malabari accompaniments – date chutney and onion raita (what the locals call Salad).

Where: New Road, Mattancherry

Dhe Puttu

Imagine a whole restaurant dedicated to Kerala’s quintessential breakfast dish – Puttu. The brainchild of Malayalam superstar – Dileep, this restaurant takes the humble puttu and elevates it to a gourmet experience. There’s puttu in every conceivable form – their biryani puttus (I’d recommend the prawn version) are a must try. The innovation doesn’t stop with the savoury versions. I also tried an audacious chocolate puttu that tasted surprisingly good.

Where: Service Road, Edappally

Mullapanthal Toddy Shop

Don’t leave Kochi without checking out one of the city’s bubbling F&B trends – the toddy shop experience. For long, the toddy shop was the quintessential male space where the food – though delicious, was always the side show. Mullapanthal is one of the many toddy shops that have transformed into magnets for families and local foodies, alike, who can’t get enough of the authentic, often fiery cuisine. Some of this toddy shop’s signatures include their karimeen (pearl spot) polichatu and duck mappas.   

Where: MLA Road, Thrippunithara

French Toast

French Toast might not boast of a location that can rival some of Fort Kochi’s cafes that were once historic buildings or spice warehouses. Located in one of Ernakulam’s swish residential neighbourhoods, this is the local hub for hipsters and families, alike. With a typical International cafe menu, this is perfect for a catch up or a late lunch. French Toast serves some of the city’s most scrumptious desserts and pastries. Try their strawberry and mascarpone pastry with a local twist – fresh coconut. They also serve a mean cup of hot chocolate.

Where: Ambikapuram Road, Panampilly Nagar

Thai Soul, Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty

Kochi’s first Thai restaurant puts the spotlight on street food and rounds up the finest from across the country’s five broad culinary regions. The popular Gai Hor Bai Toey – deep-fried chicken in locally sourced pandanus leaves is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. Also try their refreshing pomelo salad or one of their fragrant curries. The traditional thap thim krob (water chestnut rubies in coconut milk) gets a slight tweak with the addition of jackfruit slivers.

Where: Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty, Bolgatty Island

East Indies, Eight Bastion

The dining space at the Eight Bastion, a contemporary hotel that celebrates Kochi’s Dutch connection. The menu is one of Kochi’s most creative and features a fascinating interplay between local cuisine and Dutch and western influences. There’s also a smattering of South East Asian cuisine that makes a connection with the Dutch spice route – their Indonesian style Pork udon is terrific. It’s almost as popular as their Creme Brulee French toast. If you’re in doubt, just ask for one of their tasting menus.

Where: Eight Bastion, Napier Street, Fort Kochi

Rice Boat, Taj Malabar Resort and Spa

It is one of the first restaurants to showcase traditional Kerala cuisine in a fine dining setting. The restaurant is set up in a luxury boat and features fresh catch of the day on the menu. From fresh local pearl spot and prawns to mussels and squid, this is every seafood lover’s dream dining experience. The restaurant also offers a unique fishing experience (for residents at the hotel), where you can watch the fish you ‘hook’ cooked to your specification.

Where: Taj Malabar Resort and Spa, Willingdon Island

Nasi and Mee

Kochi became the third home for this pan-Asian restaurant chain that has already wowed diners in Bengaluru and Chennai. The interiors follow the same vibrant template and the menu features signature dishes from the region that regulars keep coming back for. The prawn hargao (dim-sums) and the eponymous Nasi Goreng are among these signatures. This restaurant clearly loves its Milo. Do check out their iced Milo and Milo Panna Cotta, an interesting spin on a classic Italian dessert.

Where: Mullassery Canal Road, Shenoys

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Amazon Great Indian Festival 2018: Exciting Amazon Sale, Offers On Kitchen & Dining Products

The online retail giant Amazon is back with its year’s biggest festive season sale, the Great Indian Festival Sale 2018, which started on 10th October, 2018 and will end on 15th October, 2018. The Amazon Great Indian Sale is offering massive discounts on a range of products including electronic devices, daily essentials, garments, accessories, and kitchen appliances among others. Additionally, the e-commerce site is providing extra benefits to Amazon Prime members. If you are planning to buy kitchen & dining products from the Amazon sale on Amazon.in, there is a lot to choose from. According to the e-commerce giant, “Shop at the Great Indian Festival and choose from a wide range of bestselling products. Purchase the bestselling products from various categories at the best prices on Amazon.in.”

Check out what’s in store on the Amazon Great Indian Festival Sale this year.

Amazon Great Indian Festival: Kitchen & Dining- Up To 40-60% Off

Amazon Sale, Offers on Gas Stoves- Up To 50% Off on Gas Stoves

A huge range of gas stoves will make you want to buy one right now. From two burner gas hobs to ones with three and four burners, you can get it all. You can get huge discounts on brands like Pigeon, Sunflame and Eveready with glass and stainless steel tops.

Amazon Sale, Offers on Cookware & Cookers- Up to 50% Off on Cookware & Cookers

Grab some amazing offers on cookware and cookers that offer up to 50% discounts on the brands like Pigeon, Prestige, Nirlon, et al. Some of the best deals include aluminum pressure cookers, non-stick induction base 3-piece kitchen set, induction base roti tawa, non-stick aluminium 6-piece cookware set or five-litre aluminium pressure cooker with glass lid.

pressure cooker

Amazon great Indian festival sale: Grab some amazing offers on cookware and cookers that offer up to 50% discounts

Amazon Sale, Offers on Casseroles, Dinner Set & Glassware- Up to 50% Off on Casseroles, Dinner Sets & Glassware

If you have been planning on buying a dinner set and glassware for the upcoming festivals, then these deals may just be perfect for you. Get up to 50% off on brands like Treo by Milton, Cello, Borosil, NanoNine, Wonderchef and AmazonBasics. Get your hands on this 2-set glass dessert bowl with handle, 3-piece glass mixing bowl, 6-piece dinner plate set, 6-pieces ceramide casserole, 6-piece large glass set and 2-piece mixing bowl and square dish with lid.

Amazon Sale, Offers on Lunch Boxes & Containers- Up to 60% Off on Lunch Boxes & Containers

Toss your old containers and lunch boxes and grab some amazing deals on Amazon offers today. Brands ranging from Cello, Amazon, Borosil, Princeware, Milton, Signoware and Steelo are offering up to 60% discounts on their lunch boxes and containers. Grab huge discounts on 3-piece microwavable containers with lunch bag, 15-piece set of airtight containers,  and plastic lunch box set

Amazon Sale, Offers on Flasks & Bottles- Up to 40% Off on Flasks & Bottles

Pick your favourite fancy water bottles and flasks and get amazing discounts on brands like Pigeon, Cello, Milton and Nirlon. Get your hands on 6-piece one litre bottles, one litre thermosteel flask, and 2-piece set water bottle set.


Amazon great Indian festival sale: Pick your favourite fancy water bottles and flasks and get amazing discounts

Amazon Great Indian Festival Sale: Large Appliances- Up To 40-70% Off

Amazon Sale, Offers on Kitchen Chimneys- Up To 50% Off

Get best deals on kitchen chimneys up to 50% off along with no-cost EMIs for a limited time period. Get spoilt for choice as brands like Hindware, Elica, Faber, Glen, and Sunflame are offering unmissable discounts.

Amazon Sale, Offers on Refrigerators- Save Up To INR 35,000 

Check out some blockbuster deals that give you the freedom to buy a refrigerator from your favourite brand with amazing discounts. Amazon offers also give you an option to buy a refrigerator on a no-cost EMI. Pick from single-doors, convertible, multi-door and side-by-side option from brands like BPL, LG, Samsung, Whirlpool and Haier.

Amazon Sale, Offers on Microwave Ovens- Up To 30% Off

Buy microwave ovens from brands like IFB, Bajaj, Samsung, LG, Godrej, Whirlpool, and Bosch that are offering up to 30% discount plus EMI.


This article contains affiliate links that may be automatically generated.

When our articles contain affiliate links for kitchen/grocery/dining items, NDTV Food is paid an affiliate fee if you complete a purchase via those links. However, the editorial team is not influenced by these partnerships when making a decision to feature any product. In other words, the presence of a product on this list is not influenced or approved by a partner, sponsor or a product manufacturer. The presence of the product also does not mean an endorsement by the editorial team.

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Dining Couple Fall Ill In UK Town Salisbury Where Russian Ex-Spy Was Poisoned

Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury in March (File Photo)


British police on Sunday sealed off part of Salisbury, where a Russian ex-spy and his daughter were poisoned by Novichok, after two people fell ill at a restaurant on Sunday following a “medical incident”.

The local ambulance service said it was called to the scene and sent in ambulances and a hazardous area response team.

Roads were cordoned off around the Italian restaurant as police tried to determine what caused the pair to fall ill.

The two were said to be conscious.

“As a precautionary measure, the restaurant and surrounding roads have been cordoned off while officers attend the scene and establish the circumstances surrounding what has led them to fall ill,” police said.

It was in the English city of Salisbury in March that Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with Novichok, a powerful nerve agent created in the Soviet Union.

Britain accuses Russia for that attack, a charge which Moscow has denied.

Skripal and his daughter survived the attack, but a British couple, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, came into contact with the same nerve agent in a town near Salisbury months later. Sturgess, 44, died in hospital.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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6 Of The Best Chennais Al-Fresco Dining Venues That You Must Try


  • Chennai’s extended coastline offers exotic beachside dining options
  • You can enjoy a cool sea breeze at some of rooftop restaurants
  • We give you the six of the best al-fresco restaurants of Chennai

You might think that Chennai’s not so pleasant weather might not make it an obvious choice for a meal under the stars. That is if you haven’t dined along the city’s East Coast Road, where quite a few restaurants allow you to dine at the edge of the ocean. The city’s extended coastline offers beachside dining options that only few Indian cities can match. But, it doesn’t just end there. You can enjoy a cool sea breeze even on a humid day at some of the city’s rooftop restaurants that are a perfect setting for a special occasion or a romantic dinner. We pick six restaurants that win our vote.

1.       Bay View, Taj Fisherman’s Cove

Nothing stands between you and the Bay of Bengal at this atmospheric restaurant. The restaurant’s thatched roof gazebos are the standout design element, and are perched just a few feet away from the ocean spray. The restaurant gets fresh boatloads of the catch of the day – which includes mackerel, kingfish and snapper – from the nearby Kovalam village. Bay View’s batter-fried anchovies – a Chennai speciality – and their wasabi mayo are popular too. The local influence in the menu stretches to their Chettinadu signatures, but this restaurant is ultimately about the view.

Where: Taj Fisherman’s Cove Resort & Spa, East Coast Road, Kovalam

(Also Read: 5 Best Pan Asian Restaurants In Chennai)

2.       Aqua, The Park

Aqua probably set the template for the lounge dining experience in Chennai. It works equally well for a romantic rendezvous or a casual evening with your buddies. This roof top lounge rubs shoulders with the hotel’s shimmering pool and offers a choice of cocktails and nibbles. Kebabs and grills dominate the menu with an accent on shareable platters and finger food – try their tandoori murgh or mutton chowki kabab. If you want a change of scene, you could move indoors to A2 where their sushi and sashimi platters shine.

Where: The Park, 601, Anna Salai

3.       Kokomo, the Intercontinental Resort Chennai, Mahabalipuram

Chennai’s first tiki bar is probably where a Polynesian-style tiki bar meets a luxury shack. Named after the iconic Beach Boys anthem, this casual space is the perfect venue for a sundowner along the Bay of Bengal. A mock food truck keeps up with the cocktail bar – the curry leaf martini is truly wicked. The menu is a blend of international and local favourites. From Amritsari fish tacos to Pork ribs, to fresh catch up the day, you will be spoilt for choice.

Where: The Intercontinental Resort Chennai, Mahabalipuram, East Coast Road, Nemeli

(Also Read: 8 Best Restaurants in Chennai You Must Visit)

4.       Up North, The Raintree Anna Salai

The cleverly named rooftop restaurant keeps things remarkably simple. The decor is minimalist, while the menu stays true to home-style northern Indian cuisine. The restaurant offers sweeping views of the city from its location in the heart of the city’s commercial district. Their shorbas are surprisingly popular, while the melt-in-your-mouth Lahori Seekh is another bestseller. The restaurant doesn’t shy away from experimenting – the desi chicken tacos and soya chaap cheese sticks are a case in point.

Where: The Raintree, Anna Salai, Teynampet

5.       Above Sea Level, The Raintree, St Mary’s Road

For over a decade, this rooftop F&B destination perched on the 14th floor, has been one of the city’s ‘go to’ outdoor dining venues. It’s not just the uncluttered views and cocktails with a twist, but a menu that finds that delicate balance between Indian and International favourites as also comfort food with the occasional innovation. Just the kind of space where everyone in your group is likely to find their ‘food fix’. Unexpected twists include the Brie and aam papad cigar, a soya galouti blended with smoked cheese and a mud pot tiramisu.

Where: The Raintree, St. Mary’s Road, Alwarpet

(Also Read: 5 Places In Chennai To Find The Perfect Plate Of Idli Sambar)

6.       Kipling Cafe

Kipling Cafe might not possess the beachside location like some of its competitors along the East Coast Road (ECR), but more than that, it makes up with its cosy, romantic setting and expansive lawn, tucked away in one of ECR’s tiny alleys. Kipling is equally popular with expats and locals who tend to veer towards the restaurant’s wood-fired pizzas and Thai menu that includes the usual suspects like the pandanus wrapped chicken and curries. The Indian selection is a safe bet too with a wide range of starters that complement its exhaustive cocktail and spirits menu.

Where: L Jey Avenue, East Coast Road, Akkarai.

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Amazon Prime Day Sale 2018: The Best Deals On Kitchen And Dining Products

The second edition of the Amazon Prime Day Sale 2018 is now live. The 36-hour long mega sale began at noon today (Monday) and will end on July 17 (Tuesday) at 11:59 pm. The grand Prime Day sale will be live in 17 nations simultaneously, with over a million items on sale during this time. Prime Day Sale this year will feature 200 exclusive products and is exclusive for Amazon Prime members only. As part of the 36-hour sale extravaganza, the online retailer has also introduced Prime membership at INR 129 per month and INR 999 for a year. As a Prime member, you will be able to get unlimited free one-day or two-day delivery to your location through the year.

Among the thousands of products the Amazon Prime Day sale is offering, there are lucrative discounts on kitchen and dining products too; ranging from small appliances to gourmet and health products.

Check out some of the best deals on Amazon Prime Day Sale here.

Please note: You need to be an Amazon Prime Member to enjoy these discounts.

Amazon Prime Day Sale 2018: Best Kitchen And Dining Deals

Quaker Oats Pouch, 1Kg

One of the popular oats’ brands in the country, Quaker’s range of oats is part of Amazon Prime Day sale. Quaker Oats, a 1Kg packet is being sold at 20% discount. Make your mornings healthy with a bowlful of white oats and ensure an energetic you through the day!

Price: Rs. 360 (MRP 450)
Discount: 20%
Link: Amazon

Bajaj Majesty 1603 T 16-Litre Oven Toaster Grill (white)

Grill, toast and bake with Bajaj Majesty 1603 T 16-Litre Overn Toaster Grill at a whopping 35% discount. It includes oven toaster grill, baking tray, grill rack, tong, crumb tray and skewer rods. The OTG has a 16 litre capacity.

Price: Rs. 3,099 (MRP 4,799)
Discount: 35%
Link: Amazon

Prestige Delight Electric Rice Cooker

Cook rice quick in Prestige Delight Electric Rice Cooker that claims to cook upto 1000 grams of rice and uses 700 Watts. It comes with a five year warranty on the heating plate and a detachable power cord for easy carry. The rice cooker comes with 2 aluminum pans.

Price: Rs. 1,928 (MRP 2,995)
Discount: 36%
Link: Amazon

Neuherbs 100% Natural Apple Cider Vinegar, 350 ml

A Apple cider vinegar has long been known to promote weight loss, improve digestion, immunity and look after the liver and the lymphatic system. The Neuherbs 100% Natural Apple Cider Vinegar, is said to be naturally fermented, and helps curb cravings and achieve pH balance in the body. This product comes in a pack of 2 bottles

Price: Rs. 227 (MRP 498)
Discount: 45%
Link: Amazon

Morphy Richards AT-201 2-Slice 650-Watt Pop-Up Toaster (White)

This 2-slice Morphy Richards Pop-up Toaster comes with variable browning control and a crumb tray. The product has wider slots for thicker slices of breads too. The makers provide a two year warranty on the product.

Price: Rs. 1,099 (MRP 1,695)
Discount: 35%
Link: Amazon

Butterfly Rhino 2-Litre Table Top Wet Grinder 

Aesthetically designed body, made of ABS material, Butterfly Rhino Table Top Grinder is super-easy to handle. It has a sturdy high torque single phase motor, detachable stainless steel drum and roller stone assembly. It has a five year warranty. 

Price: Rs. 3,649 (MRP 5,400)
Discount: 33%
Link: Amazon

Philips Food Processor HL1660, 700 W

A food processor is a one-stop solution for your day-to-day slicing, shredding and chopping jobs.

This 700 Watt Food Processor by Philips comes with many accessories to perform over 30 different functions. It has a mixing grinding jar, blender jar, atta kneading jar, juicer and chopping blades among others. It can be used for slicing, shredding, grinding, kneading and whisking foods.

Price: Rs. 6,599 (MRP 8,995)
Discount: 27%
Link: Amazon

Prestige PGMFB 800 Watt Grill Sandwich Toaster with Fixed Grill Plates, Black

The Prestige PGMFB Grill Sandwich Toaster comes with fixed non-stick grilling plates with an elegant black finish body and has one year warranty, it is being sold at a discount of 37% for the duration of the sale.

Price: Rs. 949 (MRP 1,495)
Discount: 37%
Link: Amazon

Borosil Klip N Store Lunch Bag

More and more people now prefer glass containers to carry their lunch in. Glass tiffins look clean and can be maintained for a longer duration of time. This lunch bag set comes with 3 clear glass containers with plastic lids. The containers are microwavebale and have a total capacity of 320ml. The set comes with an easy to carry lunch bag.

Price: Rs.879 (MRP 1095)
Discount: 20%
Link: Amazon

AmazonBasics 16-piece Dinnerware Set

This 16-piece dinnerware set is safe to use in the microwave, oven and in the freezer too. The set is dishwasher-safe as well. The pack contains 4 dinner plates, 4 dessert plates, 4 bowls and 4 mugs. The product is BPA-free and is made of AB-grade porcelain.

Price: Rs.899 (MRP 4995)
Discount: 82%
Link: Amazon

Prestige Pressure Cooker, 5 Litres, Silver

This pressure cooker has a capacity of 5 Litres and is made of high-grade aluminum.

Price: 1299 (MRP 1765)
Discount: 26%
Link: Amazon


This article contains affiliate links that may be automatically generated.

When our articles contain affiliate links for kitchen/grocery/dining items, NDTV Food is paid an affiliate fee if you complete a purchase via those links. However, the editorial team is not influenced by these partnerships when making a decision to feature any product. In other words, the presence of a product on this list is not influenced or approved by a partner, sponsor or a product manufacturer. The presence of the product also does not mean an endorsement by the editorial team.


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Dining Out’s Become Difficult For Donald Trump’s Aides, Despite His Twitter Tirade

Several of Donald Trump’s top aides have been targeted by protesters while dining (File)

Washington:  Does working for Donald Trump mean you cannot enjoy a night out in Washington?

In the past week, several of the president’s top aides have been targeted by protesters while dining, and his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant in central Virginia over her views.

Now, the president has weighed in — and he’s not happy.

The billionaire president’s target? The Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia — a cozy 26-seat, farm-to-table establishment in a 19th century brick building specializing in the local cuisine of the Shenandoah Valley.

On Friday night, the owner asked Sanders and her party — who were already seated and eating a first course — to leave after some of the staff objected to her presence.

“I politely left,” Sanders tweeted, adding: “Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.”

But Trump was not having it.

“The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders,” he said early Monday.

“I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!”

Beet risotto and immigrants

On its website, the Red Hen highlights its beet risotto, featuring “vegetables from Rancho Calixto, a family farm founded by immigrants from Mexico.”

Owner Stephanie Wilkinson said her principles had to come before profitability.

“I have a business, and I want the business to thrive,” Wilkinson told The Washington Post, adding that she felt she needed to make a stand against an “inhumane and unethical” administration.

“I explained (to Sanders) that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation,” Wilkinson said.

Sanders was not the first to face a public backlash in her off hours.

Senior White House aide Stephen Miller was branded a “fascist” by one angry patron during a visit to a downtown Mexican restaurant.

And Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen made a quick exit when leftist protesters marched into another Mexican restaurant chanting “Shame!” She also confronted angry activists at her home in the suburb of Alexandria.

In a deeply polarized political climate, especially as an immigration crisis swirls on the border with Mexico, even their choice of restaurants was criticized, with many seeing Miller and Nielsen as especially tone deaf.

Red and blue plates?

Cue the protests and hand-wringing on both sides. The Red Hen is now the target of a conservative boycott, while Democrats are cheering.

Representative Maxine Waters urged her supporters to “show up wherever we have to show up” to protest Trump’s policies.

“If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she said.

Trump clapped back at her, using his regular insult that she is an “extraordinarily low IQ person” and accusing her of wishing his supporters harm.

“Be careful what you wish for Max!” he warned.

And Sanders added during her Monday briefing: “Healthy debate on ideas and political philosophy is important, but the calls for harassment and push for any Trump supporters to avoid the public is unacceptable.”

Some are drawing parallels to a recent US Supreme Court ruling that backed a Colorado baker who refused to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in order to protect his religious liberty.

“Some who defend baker’s right to refuse service to gay couples, whine re ppl refusing service to a person who’s the face of a deceitful Administration,” said conservative pundit — and harsh Trump critic — Ana Navarro.

“Difference is, being gay is not a choice. Being an accomplice to Trump, is.”

But not all Democrats are crying victory.

“Kind of amazed and appalled by the number of folks on Left who applauded the expulsion of @PressSec and her family from a restaurant,” said David Axelrod, a former top aide to Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.

“This, in the end, is a triumph for @realDonaldTrump vision of America: Now we’re divided by red plates & blue plates! #sad.”

And in an editorial entitled “Let the Trump team eat in peace,” The Washington Post said the blurring of lines between public and private lives was worrying.

“It wasn’t the first time recently that strong political feelings have spilled into what used to be considered the private sphere,” it said.

“We understand the strength of the feelings, but we don’t think the spilling is a healthy development.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Dining With Dalits Not Enough, Need To Address Aspirations, Says BJP’s Udit Raj

Mr Raj said that Dalits are apprehensive that old system would come back again (File)

BJP MP Udit Raj said on Friday that merely having food at homes of Dalits is not enough, as the need of the hour is to address their aspirations and grievances, which are not the same as it were in 80s or 90s.

Addressing a press conference at his residence here, Mr Raj, the BJP’s Dalit face, also warned that those who do not understand the aspirations of the community would face “consequences”.

“The issues of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is being seen in the circumstances which have hardly any connect with the ground reality. The need of the hour is to address the aspirations and grievances of these communities,” he said deploring the outlook of intelligentsia and other responsible sections vis-a-vis real issues of these communities.

He said on April 2, the way the Dalits and tribals expressed their anguish and feelings across the country made it very clear that the expectations and aspirations are different now.

“They did not express their anguish to ask the so-called upper castes, or those who are in a position to empower them, whether they would have meal together… Now we have to understand that their aspirations have become something else, and are not the same as in the 1980s or 1990s,” the BJP MP said.

He said the community wants respect, jobs, rights and equality. “But attempts are being made to satisfy them by having food, night stay and tea with them.”

Mr Raj said having food at a Dalit household was similar to a doctor giving medicines to treat fever to a patient who had a problem in his stomach.

Citing Congress President Rahul Gandhi as an example, Mr Raj, the national Chairman of the Confederation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Organizations, said that having meal in Dalit households neither empowers the Dalit families nor benefits the politicians. 

“Rahul Gandhi is an example of it,” he said.

Mr Raj said that the Dalits are apprehensive that the old system would come back again. 

“The mood of Dalits has to be gauged as to why they are disillusioned with the system and continuous dilution of their rights and dignity at the hands of judiciary, executive, academia and the captains of economic pursuits,” he said. 

Mr Raj, however, welcomed the government’s campaign that MPs and MLAs should go to Dalit-dominated villages and appraise them of the government schemes, adding that exclusion of the Dalit and tribal men and women from progress of the country would never lead to the progress of the country. 

He also appealed to the government that the cases slapped on the Dalits for April 2 agitation over alleged dilution of SC/ST Atrocities Act should be withdrawn. 

“When the lawsuits made during the Jat and Patel movement can be withdrawn, then the litigations raised on Dalits can also not be returned,” he said.

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