Monday, 18 June 2012

Foods dont lie: Assam Bhawan

(Text and Photography by Pupps Roy)

22 year old Punjabi lad "Sunny" does not eat Rajma Chawl on Sunday afternoons. Instead he gives his taste buds an experience of Assam at "Jakoi" which means Fishnet in Assamese. Savour Assam's haute cuisine at "Assam Bhawan" at Sardar Patel Marg located amongst the home of many foreign embassies in Chanakyapuri. Jakoi is the in-house restaurant of Assam Bhawan.

You will not have any car parking issue and it’s free of charge. Plus it’s connected by major bus routes. The nearest bus stop is just few meters away. Now you choose your mode of transport to get there. You need to sign your name at the entrance with your address and phone number. This is just a formality also it tells you that you are stepping into a highly secured area. Enter Assam Bhawan go straight and then take a left and the sloping stretch will lead you to Jakoi. Few cane chairs and painted chastes with the lots of indoor plants in the open area certainly makes a minimalistic statement to its quirky decor. But it’s empty. No one enjoys lunch in an open area at 2pm in this Delhi heat in the month of June. Turn around. You see a huge glass door and that opens to a large air-conditioned banquet looking sitting area. There are sofas with low length tables as well as normal table chairs for dining. The ambience is totally theme centric. An Assamese throne with Archery, fishing weapons nailed on top of it in the red background. There are photos of the great personalities of Assam such as Bhupen Hazarika, famous actress Bidya Rao, Actor Nipan Goswami and the talented classical singer Dipali Barthakur and many more. It does not only offer food but also offers the knowledge of Assamese culture with nice Assamese music playing in the air.

It smells exotic. Some herbs which we never smelt before mixed with a fine aroma of camphor and fish. The smell wafts in the air and makes us hungrier. The menu is extensive plus it has some seasonal dishes to offer which is separately mentioned on a standalone menu kept nicely on each table. There is regular non-vegetarian and vegetarian thalis mentioned in the a-la-Carte menu with variety of fish, chicken and duck preparation. Vegetarian and Non vegetarian thalis cost Rs 200 and Rs 250 respectively. It looks huge, elaborate and of course cheap with so many items on the plate. The service is also quick with neatly dressed up waiters serving the best from Assam.

The Non Vegetarian Thali comes with two bowls of thin grained aromatic rice. They said this particular rice is easily digestible. For "Starters" they have Aloo Pitika and Dali. Aloo Pitika is spicy mashed potato and Dali is lentils prepared with their traditional spices. Tastes great. In "Entree" there is Xaak which is actually Spinach cooked with chillis and spices. Then there is a Khaar which is cooked by burning banana skin and adding baking soda in it. Another tasty dish. They say it cleanses the stomach and acts as a detoxifier. Then there is main course which includes Tenga Fish which is a huge piece of Ruhu fish cooked in spicy tangy gravy. This is a delicacy of Assam. It tastes so good that you have to ask for more. In Assam no meal is complete without Tenga Fish. This is not the end. There is also chicken curry. The chicken curry is spicy yet you can taste the chicken in it and not the spice because the spice is perfectly cooked with the chicken. All's well that ends well. In the dessert they have scented rice boiled in thin milk. The whole affair is worth remembering. You will come back for sure. The most expensive dish in the A-la -carte menu is 350 which is Steamed Hilsa in Assamese style. You will never find Duck fry for 300 Rs in anywhere in Delhi. One phrase to the whole thing: Very affordable, tasty and something very different. Welcome all.

Lovely Decor

Archery weapons

They made Assam proud

And the merry meal

The a-la-carte Menu

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thnx pupps, penned down very well with all those pictures, especially d one on Jakoi. I really lov coming back to ur blog....wondering if u will throw light on some quirky delhi stuff