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Mon, 10 Dec 2018

Northeast Today

Go on a Food Trail in Shillong

Go on a Food Trail in Shillong
March 29
11:55 2018

They call it the Scotland of the East. We call it the Rock Capital of India. Be it any, the capital state of Meghalaya has a mystery box of culinary wonders which you can unravel only when you hit the streets of Shillong. An eclectic mix of cultures from the neighboring states and across the borders, the city of Shillong offers an assortment of cuisines across its streets, cafes, eateries and upscale restaurants.

How to reach

The nearest airport to Shillong is at Guwahati, which is well-connected to major cities in India. It takes about three hours to travel the 100km from Guwahati to Shillong by car.

Food trail of Shillong

The most traditional cuisine of Shillong is Khasi, from the ethnic Khasi community. There’s also a heavy influence of food from Manipur, Mizoram, Bengal, and Bangladesh. Chinese and Tibetan food are also widely popular. The food scene of the state capital is concentrated around two major areas of town. Depending on what you are looking for, you can plan your trips.

For street food, Khasi cuisines, sweets and local cafés, head to Police Bazaar. For specialty Khasi food, signature cafes and fine dining, Laitumkhrah is the place to be.

We take on a food trail to experience the culinary journey of Shillong.

Café Shillong

A popular local haunt in Laitumkhrah, Café Shillong is set in colonial interiors and a stately with an old world charm. The best part of being in the Rock Capital is that good food comes with good music. The place serves most popular café dishes, American comfort food, and local specialties. But since you are in an experimental mode, try the Bastenga- a steamed chicken curry cooked with bamboo shoots and served with locally grown brown rice. A staple of neighboring Nagaland, the highlight of this recipe is the generous garnish of ‘BhootJolokia’- probably the spiciest chili of India. Watch out for a burning tongue if you dare to try!

Munchies

At a few minutes’ walk from Café Shillong, is the alfresco café of Munchies. Owned and run by a husband-wife duo, this diner serves everything under the sun from Indian, Italian, Mexican, and Lebanese. A quick bite or a leisurely meal, this local eatery is a comforting place to spend an afternoon or evening.

Red Rice

Though set in the bustling neighborhood of Police Bazaar, Red Rice is quite a fancy place serving Chinese andKhasi delicacies. Their Khasi specialty DohKleih- a steamed pork stir-fry with onions and green chili is more like a warm salad. Hop in for a hot and spicy meal on a rainy day.

Dylan’s Café

It’s not at all surprising to have a café dedicated to the music legend. Quirky and contemporary, their menu has everything that you expect at a decent café. And, food comes with the perks of good live music and jamming sessions every evening.

Jadoh

Named after a popular traditional dish, the café on Don Bosco Square serves Jadoh besides plenty of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Their lip-smacking Jadoh (rice and chicken meal) and smoky meat curries make locals, especially students, throng to this eatery.

Phunga

Or, ‘fireplace’ in Manipuri, Phunga serves authentic Manipuri cuisines, sans the fire. The rustic setting of bamboo, woodwork, and cane décor adds to a traditional ambiance. With an old cottage transformed into a restaurant, Phunga makes you feel more like a home. Try their home-style ‘thali’ meal served on banana leaf and cane trays.

And, then there are those nameless countryside spots, or as the locals call Ja-Cha stores. Stop by for a platter of rice, pulses and meat curry served with steamed mustard greens. With Savaari Car Rentals, you can reach the state capital in no time, while also enjoying a scenic view and being able to stop and taste some of the most amazing food Meghalaya has to offer. To summarize, the food of Shillong is what adds to the funkiness of the city and its people.

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