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.
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.
Me and my friend once after a day of shopping was looking for a place to sit and eat a decent meal in the very crowded Manipuri Basti area of Guwahati. We were so hungry that we could eat anything that day.
Our tired legs took us to the first floor of this otherwise ‘blink and you miss ‘eatery in the bustling business hub of the city. We opened the door not only to that eating place, but we opened the door to a fablous cuisine that I was otherwise completely ignorant of. Manipuri Food right in front of us and oh high and my, that was a treat…..visually as well as taste wise.
Shanghai Manipuri Rice Hotel is a simple, no fancy, no frill eating place. The Dining hall is clean and the wash basins are spic and span. The servers come wearing huge simple, along with their traditional yellow dhoti and that lovely sandalwood tikka adorning their foreheads. Once you are settled in your seats, the menu arrives, which is again a visual treat because they carry the entire platter of food that they are serving that day in huge trays. You pick your choice of fish, chicken, mutton and pork. The standard vegetarian thali will comprise of the Sinju (Manipuri salad), oti (a dry peas prepration), boiled seasonal vegetable, bor (lentil dumpling), rice, some black rice, their khar (alkaline) etc.
Now that you have picked your choice of non veg, the meal comes. Each Thongba or curry is an explosion of flavour in the mouth and each dish reflects the complex flavours and their marriage which is so beautiful.
The kheer at the end of the meal is sublime. I keep getting a major Manipuri food craving. My benchmark for this cuisine started here at this Bhojanalaya and after this I kept trying the other Manipuri Restaurants around this place, but none could or can satiate my thirst for this beautiful cuisine as Shanghai Manipuri Rice Hotel does.
Go and give it a try dear fellow foodies of Guwahati and people travelling to Guwahati. This is an amazing food adventure I took and I keep going there every now and then with family, friends and we conduct Food Walk here in such lesser know gem of a place in this city.
Hospitality industry is booming in the city and each of the eateries, hotels, cafes, restaurants, lounge bars etc have something unique for the people. I love frequenting restaurants and trying out their menu. With this I bring back my experiences and photographs for you all to explore and understand what awaits for you.
On 23rd of May 2017, I was invited to Mocha, to explore and understand their new Menu that is now open for all and much to my amazement, the uniqueness and the exhaustiveness of the menu is rather very fascinating.
Here is what I got for you all.
My take : The European cuisine in their new Menu is something that one should not miss.
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