Mumbai, Kerala, and Goa
I'm heading to southern India in hot, rainy July and need some restaurant recommendations. (Hotel ones too, but that's a topic for another place.) I'm not sure of the exact itinerary for Kerala but will certainly be in Kochi, Trivandrum, and Allepy.
Advice is much appreciated.
Disclaimer: I normally head to Cochin (Kochi) on expense accounts so the following tips are not quite budget. Regardless, basic western comforts come at a cost (btw, is this your first visit to India?). Clubbing in the hotels with this thread because unfortunately, a lot of the good eating is to be found in your own lobby.
Hotels: A good 4* property in Cochin (Kochi) is the Trident Hilton (about $200 per night incl/ taxes). A more "heritage" property is the Boatyard (about $150 per night). The Taj is a popular 4*-5* chain across India - it is always a good option in any city that has it. Cochin has Taj Malabar and Taj Residency for $150 per night again. It is the monsoons - so any stay over 2 nights should qualify you for a third free night.
Dining: the Taj Malabar has a great Keralite seafood restaurant called The Riceboat (though locals will tell you it's not quite authentic. The Waterfront (at the Malabar again) is a good teatime place. Head to Woodlands for unexceptional but sanitary South Indian vegetarian fare. If you are less squeamish, you could head to the Chinese fishing nets, which are a string of seaside stalls next to Fort Cochin, where they literally pick fresh seafood out of the sea for you.
Not aware enough of the dining scene in Alleppey and Trivandrum to comment (only done quick in-and-out trips here) but from what I hear - exceptional spa resorts with great chefs. If thats where you're headed, you're going to have a great trip!