I had been thinking of visiting this place for quite some time now. The name intrigued me and its pictures put up on some food blogs were fascinating enough to finally push me its way. Unfortunately for me the reality couldn’t catch up with the expectations and I was a tad bit disappointed. Read on for more!
The first thing you love about the place is the ambience. It has a fresh café like look….bursts of colours here and there, big comfy sofas strewn about, lots of lights…it’s a vibrant look that preps you up for something unique and different coming your way.
The second exciting thing is the menu. You read it and realize that you could taste authentic dishes from all over the North East under this one roof. There are dishes from Odisha, Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal. And although there are international dishes, I decided to stick to the national ones. We started off with the Kalimpong Chilli Cheese Rolls. These were really good, albeit oily. They were really fine crisp rolls stuffed with looaaddss of cheese with a serving of mayo on the side.
Then we went for the Black Vegetable Skewer. This was again a good dish, although again, on the oilier side. It had grilled paneer, cauliflower & pumpkin in a black sesame paste served with coriander chutney. What disappointed me was the fact that the sesame didn’t make its presence felt in the dish…at all. Although tasty, it was almost like any regular tandoori vegetable platter. The serving of flat bread on the side too puzzled me as I just couldn’t see it going well with the grilled vegetables.
The main course is where the real disappointment set in. We ordered for the Arunachali Thukpa. It had momos floating in a clear broth with mushrooms and carrots around. The thukpas I have had in Sikkim have been surreal, with the clear water oozing with the freshness from the vegetables. To my dismay, in this one, I could see droplets of oil floating on top…so the extra oiliness seemed to continue everywhere I looked. Also, the broth itself tasted of haldi. The momos were good and the dish overall wasn’t bad, but definitely not the exceptional surprise I was expecting.
We also ordered the Odiya Chatu Bhaja & Kasundi Vegetable Jhal. Being an Odiya myself, these were the dishes I was really looking forward to. I hadn’t had an Odiya/Bengali meal for days and I was craving the mustardy taste we typically incorporate into our dishes. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the dishes authentic at all. The Chatu Bhaja was way too tomatoey and thick and full of masala….the kind of gravy I have never eaten in Odisha. The menu had said it would be served with Ajwain Puri. Instead we were served an undercooked ajwain paratha.
The Vegetable Jhal was alright in that I could taste the mustard here and there but again, nowhere close to what any authentic Bengali dish tastes like.
In the end, I decided I wanted to give the place one last chance and ordered the Jurassic Cheesecake which is basically the Chena Podo , ‘the oldest cheesecake in the world’ as the menu says. As an Odiya I am extremely fierce about my Chena Podo being tampered with. But that’s exactly what this place did . The exquisite burnt cheese taste of this mouth watering sweet was definitely missing. In its place all I got was weirdly a taste of dry gulab jamun. Again, while not bad, definitely not authentic.
All in all, the place was a disappointment. Maybe if they had publicized it as a modern fusion of authentic dishes, I might have gone in with different hopes. But with the tantalizing talks of original dishes from the North East, this place unfortunately failed to deliver for me.
Finally, My Ratings for the place would be :
Ambience : 3.5/5 ; Service : 4/5 ; Food : 2/5 ; Pocket Friendly : 2.5/5 (About 2500 for 2) ; Presentation : 3.5/5