After the blog on My Favourite Places in Shillong yesterday, it is but logical that I do another with the ‘must-try food’ in Shillong. So without further ado, here you go!!
Jalebi from Delhi Mistan Bhandar, Police Bazaar tops my list. It makes sense to talk about snacks and food first, and then about desserts. But I have an over-powering sweet tooth, and can’t help not put the jalebis from Delhi Mistan Bhandar right at number one. Ask any Shillongite, and chances are that it will top their list too. We go there to buy a 250 gram packet and munch on it while simply loitering around PB. And when you buy for the house, you hop into the car straightaway, in order to get it as ‘warm’ as possible for your loved ones. They are super quality, no artificial colour, fried and dipped in sugar syrup right in front of you and all this for Rs 200 per kg (at least it was this much when I last bought it 2 years ago). Now, it rains ever so frequently in Shillong; imagine a packet of hot jalebi in the wet and cold weather. Is your mouth-watering?
Momos @Hotel Broadway, GS Road – they are to die for, to kill for. If you are a non-vegetarian, you must order the pork momos. If pork is a no-no, take heart, their chicken momos are also to rave about. Vegetarians, don’t be dishearted by all my meat-talk – the veg momos at Broadway may make you wish that you lived in Shillong!! No exaggerations here – you got to try them to believe it!! Rs 100 for a plate of 8 chicken momos when I had it last in 2011
Chowmein @Kimfa, GS Road: During our days, it was called ABBA. Now it has been rechristened Kimfa. It also used to be a quaint little joint both in GS Road and a slightly bigger place in Malki. The one on GS Road has now moved to a bigger building on the same road and is located just opposite Mohini’s Store. Go there for the chicken chowmein (noodles). Nothing like them anywhere else!! Don’t remember the rates anymore though. One negative point – found them a little too oily last time. Or is it that I have become more health conscious?
Pineapples: Yes, pineapples. I have carried them upto Delhi for aunts and uncles. The ones you get in Shillong are like no other. You can smell them from a kilometre away!! Extremely luscious and sweet, cut pineapples are sold even on the streets with some masala (a mix of salt and chillies, I guess). They taste yumm!! Throw caution to the winds and try them. You will not die of dysentery. Promise.
Baked Savouries from RB Stores, Police Bazar: You won’t miss this multi-purpose store when you are in Police Bazaar. They sell some of the most delectable bakery items. So if you are planning a day-trip to Mawlinglong or Cherrapunji, buy a bag full of cakes, cookies and pastries from RB stores to munch on your way. Simple, and very tasty. English style.
Tea, nay, ‘Cha’: How can you not have tea when in Shillong? The ‘Kongs’, Khasi women-folk, make the best tea in the world and serve them in the cleanest of cups you can ever find. You won’t see such clean and gleaning cup and saucers even at 5-star restaurants!!! And don’t forget to peek into their basket of snacks. They call it ‘jinbam’. Pick a slice of cake or a muffin to go with the tea. Nothing like it on a wet day, or a day when you have walked and walked almost the entire city.
Betel Leaf (or Kwai as the locals call it): If you are not used to the wilder variety of paan (betel leaf), you wouldn’t know what has hit you!! I’d be giddy even speaking to the person chewing Kwai in Shillong. Certainly not for the faint-hearted!! But they say, if you haven’t tried it, you have missed something in life!! So much for experience!! Give it a shot, at your own peril though. Keep a water bottle handy. Better still, know where to run in case you need to throw up!!