The concept of restaurant reviewing came into my mind some four years ago. Being new to the city and a gluttony self did want to rely on something that could guide me to the city escapes especially meant for food lovers.
I did not find any and hence visited as much as many places I could and here today I think I can with conviction, write about these restaurants that the city has to offer and pass it to many like me who look for a guide……a food guide.
Talk about Goa and the first thing that comes to our minds are the beautiful beaches, happy people, music and the lip smacking Goan Cuisine. And what if I told you that you can enjoy most of Goa right here in Guwahati? You wouldn’t believe me right? Well don’t. You really have to go and see it for yourself. I did and what an experience I had. I couldn’t resist myself from brining back pictures for you to see and tell you how incredible everything was. I renewed my love for Bibinca yet again.
Chef Ignatius Peter Mario Fernandes has brought his experience from the Taj Fort Aguada Beach Resort, Goa to curate this festival in Guwahati.
The base of Goan Cuisine is marked by extensive usage of Coconut, Kokum and hint of Garam Masalas and this makes the cuisine so flavourful and well loved that it found its way to Guwahati for all of us to savour and blend ourselves into the subtle flavours. The Chorizos are such stunners that it would be a shame if these spicy and tongue tickling sausages are given a miss.
The All these mouth-watering dishes and some more like Kismur (a mixture of dry prawns and coconut), Somrachi curry, Kaldine curry, Pilaf (rice) and some melt in the mouth desserts like Bibinca, Dodol, Albela and more are awaiting to tickle your taste buds.
Apart from the array of food, that thr chef claims to keep changing in every three days to present the best and the finest of Goa, the restuarant Seven has been turned into a fine dine Shack that will remind you of Goan saga. The foot tapping music and the smiling servers will remind you of Goa in every sense of the word.
The festival has marked the begining to a wonderful feasting season, especially when we, the people of Assam are all set to Feast and merry make during this part of the year.
Chef Dipankar Paul, the executive chef of Vivanta by Taj tells me that one day of the week long festival will be dedicated to the Vegetarian Gourmet, which will mainly showcase Saraswat Brahmin Thali, that is to present the wonderful vegetarian extravaganza.
I can just go on with this amazing cuisine I rediscovered. And this is all happening right in your city. Go take a vacation and enjoy the culinary delight at Vivanta By Taj.
The Buffet is priced at Rs 1500 all inclusive. The Non veg thali is at 1250 and Veg thali at Rs 1000 respectively. The Festival ends on Saturday, 18th of November 2017
Three things required for a good life are good friends, good food and good music and if that is sorted, you are on for a beautiful life. For me good food plays a very important role and most of us would agree. A bad day can be corrected with a plateful of delicious grub. Such is the magic of food and the icing on the cake is great company to enjoy the food with over some wonderful stories to relive.
The Bean Journal came up to the food scene when the city was buzzing up with cafes, bistros and restaurants but it has stood up and out from the rest because of its cuisine and the love that they share with us puts the dining experience into another level. The ambience is uber chic and the interior flaunts a stylish reflection. Do take time to turn your head around to check how tastefully the place has been done and you wont go disappointed.
The Bean Journal has a wonderful take on hosting their patrons. They just dont serve food, they serve food and knit a yarn of beautiful stories to be heard and to be told. The power couple Sushmita and Deep Baruah behind this concept cafe, really worked hard to bring in something that has hit all of us at the right chord. I am startled at the surmise and also how wonderfully it carved into this fablous place which has been hosting jam packed patrons since the day of their launch.
Let us talk about the food. The city when is developing their palate and ooening doors to global cuisine, the bean journal raised the bar and gave us a gift of knowing Meditrrranean Cuisine. A very progressive menu awaits all of us to experiment with. Salads are my new found love and it will be a shame if we did not try the Greek Salad. Subtle on flavours and sublime to the mouth. One cannot miss the range of salads that are being introduced.
Another all time favorite of mine is the Chicken Ceaser Salad and this is one thing that I get cravings for and I am gald I found the correct place where I can dig in to this classic salad.
Mediterranean Cuisine is extensive and worth try to fall in love with. If you are here at the cafe, do try their range of open Burgers and Sandwiches along with Bean Journal special shakes, coolers and drinks. The grilled open burger is to dig in for.
The place is usually bustling with people and the ocassional loud laughters, the constant stories being shared and the sound of the cutlery running over the crunchy food is music to ears. Well for me it defintely is and thats what it makes the place a happy place and here is what it makes it different from the rest in the city.
The menu is very fresh and new. It gives the city people a whole new cuisine to try which I think is phenomenal. In the process of trying out a new cuisine opens door and gives us a perspective of learning a new culture of a place altogether. Food can be an astounding school in itself and we just need is to give it a try.
The range of food is impactful and this place is here to stay because the food is honest and the beautiful concept of the cafe is honest. The balance of vegetarian and non vegetarian options is colossal thus paving a way for every type of gournamd. Such is their idea of cafe where everyone is accommodated and their is something for everyone in the menu that is special and gives a whole new meaning to the experience of dining out.
The place is not going to burn your pockets yet it is going to give you a fantastic place to be happy with where you can carelessly sit with family and friends and be rest assured that rest of it will be all taken care of.
Definitely a must go place. Do not miss out the open burgers, the salads, the chocolate ball, the freak shake and the steak.
Love conquers all and all it takes is a kind heart and whole lot of smile. This is what I saw in my recent trip to the ‘ Pay from Heart’ cafe. The place is quaint and here time stands still, not because of any other reason, but because you are transported to a new life, a life of happiness, kindness, loving and sharing the best attributes of human beings, which some how is subdued or overlapped by the cold blows of the bad world that we create for ourselves.
Meet the people behind this cafe and yes they are young, rarring to go, ever simling, ready to help without any ambition or goal to earn riches through money. That s because either you pay or you don’t, yes you heard me right, if you pay, pay whatever you feel like or it’s cool even if you don’t want to. Just say a bye and leave, only to come back again. Now Akash Das here tells me in a chippy voice, there has not even been a single soul, since it’s 5 days of operation, that a single person has left without paying. This is what this cafe does to you. It makes you happy from within.
Me and Akash got into talking and what a beautiful insight I got from him. He and his friend/partner got this place together to make it into a place where everyone can come without fear of being judged of being rich or poor, student or a corporate person, young or old. This place has a capacity to absorb all into its greatness and niceness and for me that was the greatest attribute.
Once you reach the Cafe, the first thing probably you will realize is the buzz and frequent bouts of laughter coming out of the cafe. The sitting arrangement has been made in such a way that you feel rooted to the ground and one automatically feels at home. The visitors are termed as ‘Atithis’ literally translated as guests and the hosts are ‘Sewaks’ translated as servers. But the bridge between the guests and hosts are narrowed here for what I saw was not only new for me, it was truly commendable. The guests offered their help, either in the kitchen, or picking up glasses and plates let by the previous set of guests. I met a group of students who were happily slicing fruits for another group of guests who ordered for a fruit salad. And everything that was happening was without a pinch of hope of being paid or not being paid. So you can now imagine the level of helpfulness and love this place can hold.
Akash is an IIT-Guwahati pass out and has even worked with corporate only to realize that he was not for that life. He returned back to do something that he is always happy with, be with people, where he is inspired and motivated to work more for, especially after he lived with the tribals of Chattisgarh, from whom he learnt to be happy with whatever they have. This was the calling. Happiness is not measured by worldly belongings, it’s by what makes you happy from within and you go to bed only to wake up next day all charged up to work again.
For a moment I was quite and I kept thinking how can a place run just from heart by showing kindness and whatever I witnessed around answered all my questions. Human by nature is kind and it only takes from soul stirring moments to wake it up. The atithis were talking to all and the sewak was making everyone feel at home. Guests were making tea or Maggie for themselves because the other Sewak, Saurav was unwell. There we met people who have come in only to enquire about his well being and wish him well.
Pay from Heart doesn’t really need a lot of words. You need is to go and experience it. It’s an experience that will silence a whole lot of practical ways of thinking. The age old saying that ‘money is everything’ has been beautifully slayed and slammed by these two young gentlemen, who brought in a fresh wave of love that will take away everyone with. The everyday news of killing, cheating, murder etc takes a backseat for a while here. There is laughter, there is kindness, there is peace and above all there is mutual respect or fellow human beings. One leaves their negativity out of the doors of this cafe and what a beautiful assimilation we experience . The over 150 year old cottage that dates back to pre independence eta has been put to a beautiful use with a soul stirring and inspiring principles laid out for us by Akash and Saurav.
The daytime crowd is usually the college kids who come and sit and chat or Play a game or two if ludo and help out in the cafe operations. Evenings are generally frequented by working people, families. But whatever time of the day is, this place is always bustling with cafe revellers.
Humanity is the greatest virtue of all and whoever believe this are the people who will love the place. And for people who don’t value it should visit it for sure to find out how it is otherwise. It will be a life changing experience for them as well.
The place is different and may sound utopian, but the world has received greatness from people who think out of the box. We need places like this in every lane of the city. We need Akash and Saurav in every corner of Guwahati. On that note, how about a cup of tea at the cafe made by someone whom you have never met, served by a fellow guest and washed by you yourself? Let’s Pay a visit to Pay from Heart.
Cafe B-You, the all day dining/restaurant at the plush Radison Blu Hotel, of Guwahati is truly sensational in every sense of the word. It not only depicts the rich taste, vibrancy, youthfulness, it also tantalizes our taste buds with the array of delightful cuisines, that the grub becomes exhaustive.
I know Chef Vikas Verma, the executive chef for about close to two years now, and over the time, I realize that he is not only an authority to different cuisines across the globe, well travelled, a very passionate foodie yet modest in every way. Our conversations benefits me everytime where I learn a lot.
Now, coming back to food and the extravagant fare that we savoured yesterday was something phenomenal. And there is no reason why I would not share my experience here. And also I would take the liberty to pin point that Food is like modern art and when chefs and food stalwarts serve us with love and passion, it may be that many of us may understand not understand what is being served and how it is to be consumed. It is always encouraged to take help of them to understand the food infront of you rather than just keep guessing.
The Chicken Ceaser Salad is one of my favourite salads and I love it with a glass of wine and a fine company to pass the day through. This one is not exactly how I would have loved my salad, but full points to chef and his team for keeping the flavours intact. The parmesan cheese and the white wine vinegar was subtle, hits you on the right chord.
I am definitely a pasta girl. I love pastas and they give me sheer pleasure, making them or eating them. This was probably the finest I have had in recent times. The technique and the excellent delivery talks of a fabulous Continental team of the Chef. Full points and a thumbs up for this delight.
I can just go on about this perfectly fine chicken with flavour packed au jus. The marriage was just made in heaven. The creamy, warm, silky smooth dollop of mashed potatoes gelled together to make this platter taste divine, just the way the plate looks like.
This piece of baked cheesecake was the showstopper. Renu, from the bakery division was kind enough to make this one for us and personally came to serve it for us. Lucky we, the taste was divine and each scoop of the cheesecake that went into our mouths, a wow came out. The goodness of fruits, the flavour of the biscuits and the cheese made it just perfect for the evening. This one is highly recommended and do meet the ever simling Renu too.
Now that was another stunner from the bakery section and I was happy to see how a simple slice of carrot cake could make everyone so happy.
I would also recommend the salads especially the tandoori chicken salad and the lamb and corn salad by Chef Siddhartha Nath. I am a fan of creativity and food art always excites me. This is exactly what I experienced during my lunch session with such food stalwarts and wizards who turn food to an art form.
Guwahatians, do keep an afternoon reserved for a gastronomic delight, a gold mine, a trend setter for global cuisine in Guwahati. This is beyond pictures and a few limited words. This one is to be experienced and to be savoured. Go spoil yourself with world class hospitality and delicious food that awaits your visti.
Now that Durga Utsav is at its peak, so is our appetite and the festival time means a whole lot of catching up with family and friends and the most important of all that marks the beginning of any celebrations here is ‘dining out’.
We love to eat out and we love to try cuisines from all over, but if it’s Durga Puja and eating out, we cannot ignore our very much well loved Kolkatta Biryani, Bengali style Kosha Mangsho or Illish Bhaja etc to name a few.
Guwahati has been giving us a tremendous choice for Bengali cuisine over the years and the city has loved it all this while especially during Festival season, it becomes one of the most sought after cuisines and almost all the population of the city manoeuvre to a Bengali food serving restaurant or an eatery.
So when I got an invite from Indrani, I was excited to know that Vivanta by Taj has started a special Durgostav food festival where they are showcasing the finest of Bengali Food, that has started already and will be waiting for food lovers and Puja revellers till the 30th of September 2017. So, head straight away to the hotel to savour and experience a Culinary delight that awaits.
I started off with a very refreshing drink which has an amazing aroma of Gondhoraj that is not just a palate cleanser but Kickstarter to the huge spread that lies infront. The drink is served in small kullars or earthen cups that looks so earthy and also environment friendly.
Chef Toufic insisted that I must try the Elish Maach Bhaja and I am glad I did. Crisp and fried to perfection, it reminded me of our Durga Puja afternoons where my mother and rest of the aunts of the family would get fish for the children and men and we would go on with our endless gossips and discussions. A nice reminiscence to our foodie childhood it was.
The teekha -meetha jhalmuri is one of those street food which goes hand in hand with Indian Festivities. Our festival or any happy passion, be it India wining cricket match or kids getting a few extra bucks as pocket money, we rush to our jhalmuri wala for a packet of jhalmuri to celebrate.
The Puri and Alu Dam station keeps changing every day so that each day something new comes up as the hotel wants to offer variety and also create a fresh meal everytime you visit. They have Mughlai Paranthas or Kathi Rolls etc to offer as well.
The wide range of salads speaks volumes of the chef and the talented team who has worked tirelessly to bring forward a beautiful cuisine to its right justice. The variety of both vegetarian and non vegetarian colourful salads slays not just the temptation of eat more but also visually which looks fabulously appealing.
The main course is yet again very exhaustive just as the starters, here one can go through the dishes like Jhinge Alu, Posto Potol, Bhappa diye Paneer, to Mixed Greens, from Teeta diye daal to kumro bhaja. The choice of Ombol (chutneys) to array of pickles is again startlingly huge. Bengal style mutton curry was worth the wait, The chicken jhol and Tel koi maach added the extravaganza. To team with the maincourse were a choice of Kolkatta style biryani which I thought was divine, Veg Pulao, Steamed Rice and Naan, Rotis etc to be ordered required.
The fresh fish counter with fresh fish on display gave a very rustic look to the buffet. One can pick up any fish of their choice to be grilled fresh and served hot.
What is a festival without its Sweets? And yes we don’t ignore our mithais at all and so does Taj. The sweet and fragrant Desserts spoils us silly. From Komolabhog to Chenna Poda, from Sondesh to our succulent kheer, everything is there for us to savour and enjoy our eating times.
I was insisted by Debraj, to try the special Nolen Gur er Ice cream and I am so happy that I did. Subtle in taste, lower on the sweet which is usually correct for good quality jaggery again proved how beautifully they craft the menu. There is absolutely something gorgeous for everyone to tickle their taste buds, which I always find commendable.
The whole concept of dining out during festivals especially during Durga Puja does fit into the bill of what Vivanta by Taj is offering at the moment. It has lived upto the spirit of the festival and has gifted the city of Guwahati a whole new Dining Experince with the finest in every sense of the word. The elegance and the fine dine ambience is the cheery the cake.
If we talk of iconic restaurants in Guwahati, we just cannot ignore the grand daddy of Assamese Cuisine Restaurant, which proudly serves the traditional food of Assam in a very stylish yet humble manner, for over 30 years now in Guwahati.
Assamese food is very simple in flavours yet complex in its own ways because it’s scientific. We start out meal with a khar which is a vegetable dish (mostly) prepared with alkaline which is derived by burning dried peels of a special banana breed available in this region only. Khar cleanses out palate and hence an important part of our cuisine. The a variety of green herbs, pitika or a mash, protein in form of mutton, chicken, pork or duck is consumed and ended with a fish or veg sour curry which helps in digestion.
The typical Assamese Cuisine thali would look like the picture above, which is the standard ‘Vyanjan Thali or the Non-Vegetarian Thali. You can pick an option of either mutton or chicken curry. It comprises of a khar dish, pitika, local greens, mutton/chicken curry, fish tenga. Along with it comes condiments like kharoli and Pani tenga which is a fermented mustard paste, which I claim as our take on ‘wasabi, a piece of lemon, fresh bamboo shoot and chillies. The lunch or dinner can be finished with a very wholesome bowl of kheer to balance it all.
The first dish that we consume with some rice is our khar, mainly prepared with vegetables or lentils and sometimes meat too.
We can make a mash out of anything, we love our pitikas, followed by a bowl of fresh greens or seasonal herbs, which is our source of fibre for us.
The protein can be a choice between chicken, duck or mutton. Mild on spices and spot on flavour, this one is something first timers should never miss.
Then the final dish is a sour curry that is mostly a fish prepration which also is a popular representative of Assamese Cuisine. The veg version is usually a lentil dumpling with the sour gravy. The souring agents can vary from tomatoes, elephant apple or sorrel leaves to name a few.
These condiment vary from meal to meal and may be served or may not be as per the availability and season. Our lemons are juicy and full of flavour and aroma that cannot be found elsewhere.
Cooking in bamboo hollow is an age old practice and though our old kitchens and cooking methods have been taken over by modern kitchens, fast food and oven prepared meals, Paradise stands by the roots of Assamese Tradition serves fish in bamboo hollow which is their speciality and highly recommended.
Gooseberry Soup is another dish that I would highly recommend to each of you whoever wants to experince dining out in Paradise. Medicinal, yummy and something out of the box (for a lot of us), one must give it a try.
The meal is generally completed with a bowl of kheer which is so sublime. It balances out the food and helps in digestion. Our kheer is low in sweet and hence loved by all.
So, whenever you are in a lookout for a place to eat out next, Paradise should definitely be on that must visit list. People visiting Guwahati must try this place to set a benchmark on Assamese Cuisine.
PARADISE- A traditional Assanese cuisine restaurant.
Last evening at the launch of the new pub menu at Shanghai Salsa, I witnessed energy and flamboyant ambience.
Sunit and Samudra Baruva has been working diligently to present the city a fabulous array of lip smacking menu especially for the recently launched Bar. Chef Rahul Mark Barua yet again introduced some finger licking food to go with the drinks to be served in the restaurant.
I have been associated with this restaurant from the time of their menu tasting and have seen this place grow. The menu then was progressive, ahead of the times for a place like Guwahati and the menu now is a stand out totally.
The amazingly articulate young duo Kaustav and Sajma who makes Stoic Marketing Solutions, is looking after the promotion of Shangai Salsa is doing a fabulous job for them in every sense of the word and with an invite from them, I went yesterday for the menu launch and I must acknowledge the fact that I came back very happy with the new menu added to their previous one.
Me and Pallavi took our table and it was rather a heartening thing to see the place filled with beaming new age food bloggers and instagramers (if there is a word like that). This was not the usual scene in Guwahati.
I would recommend the Chicken with Bhoot Jolokia (Ghost chilly) sauce, for the absolute punch in your mouth and the sweet chicken wings to balance it all out. The stand out dish for me was the toast with chicken liver spread with ham chunks or chicken liver pate, which I thought was just fabulous. The Asian Salad was a surprise. It had the correct crunch and absolutely fresh flavour.
If you are looking for a little treat and tickle your taste buds, you can try this new pub menu which is indeed worth a try, then head to Shanghai Salsa and experience this finger licking, lip smacking honest food.