When I told my friends I was going to Shillong for a short trip, a huge list of suggestions poured in. From where to go, what to see, what to do, the list was endless. I read through all the suggestions, made notes, and well, I think, even before I went there, I sort of had an idea about the localities I was supposed to check out, and where certain shops were located. It is with this I started on my journey to Shillong from Guwahati. After a brief halt at Nongpoh, where I bought some fiery red chilli pickled in mustard oil and salt, I reached Shillong around four, shivering from the cold.
|Khasi Restaurant Shillong|
The place where we were staying was Police Bazaar. Initially, I had thought of booking into a place, but my friend D had strictly warned me to stay near this area, and told me it was safer for me to be there. I checked out a few places, and settled on Hotel Broadway, which was stone’s throw from this little Khasi restaurant which D had recommended. Although I had had a huge number of recommendations for Khasi restaurants, the reason why I chose this was because it looked really warm and inviting, and made really good pork, according to D. Plus, they had a nice selection of vegetarian dishes too, which was what V was eating.
As we entered, my eyes zoomed in on the huge list of local delicacies. I ate here twice, and unfortunately, the second time I forgot to click photos. That time I took the jadoh, doh kleh and the doh jem and it was quite amazing. The place is pretty reasonably priced, and portion sizes are generous, to say the very least.
V wanted something light and Chinese, so decided on the Buddha’s Delight and the Vegetarian fried rice from their Chinese menu. The rice was short grained and local, and had a unique flavor which got me hooked, and I kept on sneaking spoonfuls from his plate.
|Red Rice Fried Rice|
Buddha’s Delight was a huge portion of soupy noodles with thin threads of vermicelli on top. It was extremely nutritious, and just eating a couple of spoonfuls made me feel virtuous enough to justify my own order.
I had ordered the pork wonton soup, and I have to say, the broth that the wontons were served in was what I would like to order on the side and have it every day. The wontons were silky, with a generous portion of pork wrapped in each of them. There was a little bit of herbage on top, just enough to make me feel not guilty for consuming the entire bowlful.
|Pork Wonton Soup at Red Rice|
But the show stopper was the Dragon Pork, which D had waxed eloquent about. He also said that apparently, the flavors came from adding dragon fruit into the marination. I really did not figure the exact mix out, but think about long slices of perfectly cooked pork with a crisp exterior, disintegrating in your mouth at first bite, and yes, for the first time in my life I did not mind the fact that the pork fat was missing here. In fact, I liked that. Which is me blaspheming of course, but there you go!
Pumped up from our meal, we ended up making a stop at Bread Cafe in Police Bazaar, which looked adorable from my hotel, but the pastries were pretty uninspiring. They put buttercream in the éclairs (what the…), and it left a coat of oil in my mouth, and I was not too impressed with the cupcakes either.
|Bread Cafe Shillong|
So, imagine my happiness when I found this little beauty the next day. Known as Sugarize Bakery, this was close to Cafe Shillong in Laitumkhrak, and we had just finished our meal at Cafe Shilling (more about that in another post). We were walking down a few rather weird looking places, including a little place from where I bought some dried beef pickle, beef liver and spleen pickle, dried pork pickle and dry raja chilli pickle.
|Sugarize Bakery, Shillong|
We entered, plonked down on the cute pink bench, and perused the menu. There was an assortment of biscuits, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, and we decided to try some of them out. I was eyeing the Boston cream pie, but caved in front of the Éclair, my secret love, and then squealed over the red velvet cupcakes.
|Signature Cupcakes Sugarize Bakery|
On the other hand, V calmly checked the entirety of the menu and then ordered the lemon tart to be immediately consumed, and packed a couple of cupcakes and muffins. On asking, I pointed at the éclair, and then added a blueberry cupcake to the takeaway bag, and promised to walk back to my hotel instead of taking the taxi.
|Eclair with Bavarian Cream|
The éclair had a thick layer of pastry cream in it (although they said it was Bavarian Cream, but since it was not thickened with gelatin, it could not have been that), not too sweet, and the choux pastry outside held its own – it wasn’t soggy or too dry, but held its own against the smooth cream with a tinge of vanilla, and I could not help taking a shot of the innards.
|gutshot of bavarian cream|
You see? That is what I am talking about. The fact that it wasn’t sugary sweet was an added bonus, and I eagerly turned towards the lemon tart slice that V was intent on demolishing.
|lemon tart at Sugarize Bakery|
V looked at me sceptically, and after a bit of contemplation, gave me a bit from the crusty edge, with a soft, “You would like this, I reckon”. Dammit, that tart was not really a tart but more like a baked cheesecake with a tangy filling and slightly flaky crust.
|Blueberry Cupcake at Sugarize Bakery|
We took away the blueberry cupcakes, cheese muffins (I forgot to take a shot of that), and the signature chocolate cupcake. Although the cheese muffins and chocolate cupcake were nice, but not exceptional, the blueberry cupcakes, with specks of blueberry inside the moist cupcake and a velvety smooth iced top was truly a delight, and we planned to return there for more. Unfortunately, the next day we had to run back to Guwahati in a hurry, so we could not get back, but what I won’t give to return there again!
Near Broadway Hotel