A pop-up restaurant is a term and concept which is relatively new to Shillong. In the West it gained popularity since early 2000s proving effective for young entrepreneurs to gain exposure and experience of running a restaurant and sharing their love for food.
The French name of the café translates to ‘The gypsy and the friends’ and is a start up by Tara Goswami and her friends, Cameron Starr and Guglielmo Sartor. Starr (filmmaker) and Sartor (cook) traveling here for a film and book project called the “Great Food- Tuk adventure”, based on the concept of trading food for stories.
La Bohemienne et les amis, they state, is an interactive space born from the desire of three vagabonds, passionate about travel, food, filmmaking, art and yoga. Though they aren’t certain about long time plans for the café, they have appropriately named it La Bohemienne et les amis. They cook up new experiences for people to try only on Thursday through Sunday with doors open from noon till late evening.
With no signage to indicate the location of the place, the best way to reach it would be to alight at Malki point and look for the guest house next to the bus stop. Inside the compound two wooden spoons and a flat bamboo tray (Pdung) hung next to a door indicate that you have reached.
Walk in to friendly faces and experience the warmth of the place. Rustic decor gives you an illusion of Spain – wall paintings, furniture faintly brushed with paint, walls filled with old novel pages, local ingredients on display on the tables, a kitchen for all to walk in, garlic-red chillies being hung, wooden cutlery, there is something rather gypsy-like about the place. Refreshingly different and yet homely, it’s a place you could easily let your guards down in.
The place was a café in the 70’s run by Tara’s father. His experiences and stories from then inspired her to start something fun and similar. Tara wants it to be a place where food, art, fun bring people together for something richer to evolve.
The food offered here is not what is available anywhere else in Shillong. An absolutely new treat for your taste buds. Highly recommended would be the refreshing Mint Moroccan tea. Then there is the Mango and Coconut Smoothie bowl which is rich and delectable!
Do try the Spanish Patatas Bravas (baby potatoes) with black tahini mayonnaise, slow cooked pork with jackfruit seeds (served with green beans and lentil pate) and in dessert, the millet crepes with banana coffee ice cream is a good end to a meal.
There is always something new to try though because the menu constantly changes.
Sartor is the chef cooking up most meals with Tara as the sous chef. As for Starr he ensures everything else runs smoothly.
Walk in to enjoy something different, new and appealing to treat your eyes and the obvious, your tummy. The café will be open only until the first week of August. Well, we did mentioned that it was a pop-up restaurant. So do visit before the gypsy and her friends take off on their next food adventure!
Pictures Credit: La Bohemienne et les ami facebook page
and Harshit Bawri
– Nocy Rangsa Marak