You wouldn’t even know about this place until someone seasoned recommends to you or just takes you there by surprise.. like it happened to me. Located in some corner of some street in Green Park, it stands on its own only for its loyal clientele. And what a clientele to boast of, well.. let me keep it until later so you read it till the end.
For the uninitiated, it is the only restaurant of its kind which serves north-eastern cuisine from the seven sisters of our country and more! If you are a meat lover, then you are in for a treat. And if you are not, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Not only do they use exclusive herbs from the region, they also source their vegetables from there. Soon it gets validated as the aroma of what you’ve ordered wafts towards you. By the look of it, I get curious with the simplistic presentation and can’t wait to dig in. It’s the same ingredients like mushroom, onions or any other vegetable, but the taste has a stark difference and so in its texture. A little spicy in a very novel way. Then looking at the red Mizo Rice along with bamboo curry which were both absolutely new to me. My tongue does a little dance inside! A mouthful of new flavours and textures – little earthy and fuller perhaps, that manifests only when the contents have been grown in a place where our rest of day-to-day food doesn’t. You just know its special in some way.
I wish I knew more about where my local Safal guy gets his vegetables from. And we wondered how as a kid we had access to so many varieties of vegetables alone. My friend reminisced how he knew and had about 21 varieties of Spinach itself. I realised how less we know about our food these days, when it’s grown, where it comes from. As no produce is as natural as it used to be or supposed to be and is gradually resembling closer to an industrial product, thanks to the genetically modified seeds.
However, this place right here, makes an effort towards keeping the authenticity alive, and that makes all the difference. A lot like Slow Food Movement where the focus is on knowing what you are eating, finding out where it comes from and how it affects the environment. The entire process of the meal then becomes a lot more lively and fiery in a good way. You become a part of the god’s gift that this place literally means and feel it. With the writer of God of Small Things from god’s own country smiling at me as she finishes her meal and leaves.. it does become a situation like.. ‘O my god!’