Next time you are in the city, add these ethnic restaurants to your lunch itinerary for a true Assamese food experience
If you are a thali lover, there’s a lot for you to explore on the Assamese lunch platter. And what better place to do that than in Guwahati. The gateway to northeast India, the capital city of Assam is a traveller’s delight. The winding Brahmaputra river and surrounding mountains mean the city is filled with picturesque locales and nostalgia-inducing neighbourhoods and, of course, a wide spread of unique and delicious food. Beyond the popular momos and Bhoot Jolokia, the authentic Assamese thali gives you a taste of the region’s aromatic rice varieties, herbs, vegetables and curries; the very typical alkaline food adjuvants and fermented stuff; juices; and sweet dishes.
Visiting Guwahati soon? Add these ethnic restaurants to your lunch itinerary to sample the myriad flavours of the authentic Assamese thali.
Your journey to the most authentic Assamese food experience in Guwahati starts at the good ol’ Paradise. Despite a number of themed restaurants being cropped up in the city over the past two decades, this restaurant remains the eternal favourite of scores of people from different parts of the state. An extension of Jorhat’s popular Paradise Hotel, the outlet was established way back in 1984 by SK Bezbaruah.
Known for its assorted variety of chiefly Assamese dishes, the Paradise thali is irresistibly elaborate and mouth-watering. Categorised under Parampara and Vyanjan, the restaurant offers both veg and non-veg thalis. rice, Khar, Pitika, Masor Tenga, Gooseberry Fish Curry, Duck/Pigeon meat, Kharoli, etc., are the top picks. Their starters - including Kaskol Fry, Mahor Bor, Sewaliphulor Bor and Masor Konir Bor - are also quite tempting, along with juices like Kordoi, Bel and Gul Nemur Sorbot.
Meal for two: ₹650
Location: Maniram Dewan Road, Silphukuri
Google rating: 4 stars
Dubbed iconic for its authentic Assamese spread, with samples of other northeastern cuisines, Heritage Khorikaa was established by celebrity chef Atul Lahkar in 2014, who is known for his culinary expeditions that shed light on the region’s myriad food practices.
The eatery’s thali option - called Akhaj - includes rice, yellow/black dal, Khar, leafy vegetable, Pitika, Kharoli, Kahudi, Panitenga and pudding. Meanwhile, the Khorikaa items on the menu - Fish, Chicken and Pork - are also quite popular, along with the many Masor Tenga varieties, duck/pigeon meat and mutton as well as dishes wrapped in banana leaves. The restaurant also serves the traditional black and sticky rice pudding as a dessert.
Meal for two: ₹600
Location: Behind Goswami Service Petrol Pump, Silphukuri
Google rating: 4.1 stars
This is your destination for traditional ethnic food. Over the years, Mising Kitchen has earned a reputation for its authentic tribal food flavours and simple ambience.
The regular thali comes with these staples - Mising dal, along with rice, leafy greens sides, Mising chutney, Bhoot Jolokia and pudding, while you can pick from the specials - Missing Chicken Thali, Mising Pork Thali, Mising Duck Thali, Mising Mutton Thali, Mising Fish Thali and Paneer Thali. Other favourites include Banana Flower Fry, Masor Tenga, Masor Pitika, Pork Khorika and Sesame Chicken.
Meal for two: ₹700
Location: 1st Floor, House No. 24, Hengrabari Road, Ganeshguri
Google rating: 4.4 stars
Head to Gam’s Delicacy for a soul-satisfying meal. Bhuban Gam had started this restaurant in 2007 - at a time when the craze for ‘ethnic food’ was slowly catching on in Guwahati. The décor of this popular eatery is thoughtfully done. Bamboo/wooden chairs and tables accentuate the ambience, while bell metal plates, copper jugs and bamboo trolleys create the perfect amalgamation of the ethnic food experience.
Their duck curries are to die for. Apart from Duck Fry, you can enjoy duck cooked with bamboo shoot, banana flower, potato, gourd, sesame seeds, black dal and pumpkin. The thali here is also called Akhaj, and it consists of rice, dal, vegetables, herbs, Pitika, Khar and rice pudding. Their chicken, fish and pork dishes are also worth trying once.
Meal for two: ₹800
Location: Krishna Market, GS Road, GMC Ward No. 44, Ganeshguri
Rating: 4.4 stars
Although relatively new, Michigan is already well-known among the ethnic food lovers in Guwahati and those visiting the city. Run by Mustaque Ahmed, the restaurant’s bamboo and wooden interiors give that earthy feel, while you tuck into their delicious indigenous spread of authentic Assam food and other northeastern delicacies.
Their ‘Jumbo Assamese Thali’ consists of Joha Rice, Omita Khar, Aloo Beans or Guti Aloo Bhaji, Pitika, pumpkin/brinjal fritters, along with chicken/pork/local fish curry. The eatery also serves their signature ‘Jumbo Naga Pork Thali’, ‘Naga Chicken Thali’ and ‘Naga Fish Thali’. Other popular picks are Smoked Pork, chicken dishes, Mango Mousse and Coffee Caramel.
Meal for two: ₹800
Location: House No. 8B, Bhuban Road, Latasil, Uzan Bazar
Google rating: 4.3 stars