Guwahati, a rapidly emerging gourmet hub of North East India– By Samhita Barooah
By SAMHITA BAROOAH | September 03, 2018
Guwahati is basking in the glory of being the gourmet hub of North East India. Everyday a new food joint makes an entry to cater to the impeccable appetite of the Guwahatians. I remember one momo on the wheels owner saying, "I don't mind if more and more similar momo places are around my shop. People in Guwahati love to try out new flavours so it inspires me to create new tastes with my incredible momos."
There are clusters of food places in certain pockets of the city. From 6 mile to Downtown Hospital is one food cluster with sweet shops, short eats, traditional food, cafes, lounge bars and bakeries. Another regular food cluster with tandoori, grills and biryani food is at the G.S. Road near ABC bus stop.
In the last few days I explored another area in Uzan Bazaar area with Keventers shakes, Michinga authentic North Eastern cuisine, Gypsy Arts Cafe and The Tea Story. These places are at a very close vicinity with each other within the radius of 100 meters on the M.C.Road along the Uzan Bazaar food joint lane. I was a regular in Hot Pot, Tiffins, JBs and Brown Bean Cafe during my college days. But now I discovered new flavours in the same area. The milk shake flavours of Keventers are exotic and exciting but their value for money seems to be low as some flavours are quite high end. They are good for take away and packed orders as they do not have much space for sitting, parking and standing as well.
Michinga seems to be the flavour of the month with exquisite old time decor which soothes the soul. They have a stunning fireplace which will be very useful in the winters. They serve Naga, Khasi and Assamese traditional food with an interesting continental dessert menu. They are worth a visit for those foodies with an appetite for local flavours from North East cuisine.
Gypsy Arts Cafe is a one room cafe for tea, coffee and momo lovers. It's an ideal spot for quick bites and short eats with kulhar chai. Simple decor with low tables and cane mudhas, they are a hot favourite amongst young students and momo-lovers. They have lovely Chicken Cheese Momos with some lip smacking chilli and herbs chutney. They have a Bohemian decor with old records on the wall and subtle wall art works.
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The Tea Story is another awesome tea cafe with continental starters and food located on a bye lane connecting the riverside and Uzan Bazaar. The Tea Story revived an old house with a wooded attic on the first floor with a bright blue and white colour palate. The soothing ambiance is indeed very welcoming to people of different age-groups. Tea Story also has open air wooded picnic tables for smokers and others who enjoy open spaces. The Tea Story has a huge range of black, green and white tea with additional fruit flavours. Their food menu complements their wide range of tea variety. In Assam tea is such a delight but this place seems to widen the horizon for tea lovers and present both hot and cold varieties. One could really enjoy an evening snack with a flavourful cup of tea at The Tea Story.
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I enjoyed exploring the tea menu with Kashmiri Kehwa, Morrocan Mint Tea, Orange Cinnamon Tea, Blueberry Bubbles Tea and many more such flavours. The Tea Story did remind me of Infinitea in Bengaluru which used to be my all time favourite. Apart from the Uzan Bazaar food cluster I also explored another food block near Zoo Road Tiniali on R.G. Baruah Road. I was inspired by Cafe Pull Over near Zoo Road Tiniali which happens to be Guwahati's pet friendly cafe. It was such a cozy cafe to enjoy with your furry friends. It has space for both AC lovers and Non-AC lovers. It was indeed a great experience with their awesome flavours from Chinese, Indian, Mughlai and North East cuisine.
Yasmin's stories about pet owners coming from across Assam and Meghalaya and enjoying a meal at Cafe Pull Over were indeed heart-warming. I would definitely recommend Cafe Pull Over for a value for money and a cool space for friends, family and furry fellows.
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My food journey finally ended with some Belgian Waffles near Zoo Road Tiniali with their bright yellow and brown decor. They have a wide range of waffles with exotic, tangy, indulging and exclusive toppings. Apart from the sweet range of waffle, Belgian Waffles also offers a range of savoury waffles. While exploring all world flavours in the heart of Guwahati I kept wondering how many food varieties are reinvented everyday to cater to taste diversity. But I do miss an affordable and regular breakfast space in Guwahati city between 7 to 9 am. May be some early birds are hearing. Meanwhile let me go and grab some momos from the NE Momo Festival at Khanapara Grounds.
About the writer: Samhita Barooah is a traveller, writer and food explorer. She can be reached at email@example.com
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