Jadoh: Best for Khasi cuisine
Having been around for quite some time now, Jadoh is one of the most affordable and authentic eat-outs in Shillong for Khasi food. It makes most of the limited space, it has a shelf running along its breadth and numerous moras (cane seats) under it. The self service counter will introduce you to some of the most polite and hospitable women.
Since it offers an elaborate taste of a Khasi meal, I would strongly recommend any of the combo meals here. Choose between the Dohsyiar (chicken), Dohsniang (pork) and Dohmasi (beef) combo meals which are accompanied with salad, vegetable, potato, chutney (tomato and chilli) and rice. The coffee is made from an old Nescafe machine and I never miss it.
Cost: ₹120 for one combo meal.
Location: Don Bosco Square, Laitumkhrah, Shillong. (Map)
Tip: Go early for lunch (by 12:30pm latest) because it gets crowded and the food runs out soon. They shut once they have exhausted the fresh preparations of the day.
Phunga: Best for Manipuri/Northeast food
Literally translating to ‘the fireplace in the kitchen’, Phunga is a Manipuri restaurant. Wearing an introverted look, the decor resonates the chief craft of Northeast—cane furniture and trinkets. On a sunny spring day, the outside tables offer a warm prospect of the main road.
Their menu is extensive but not all dishes are available every day. Trying out the Northeast Thali will give you an idea of the most popular food from the region. I chose the Manipuri Wild Chicken Thali which was unavailable. With a few edits, they served a simple chicken curry (instead of the wild chicken) with Singju (cabbage salad), dal, Champhut (boiled pumpkin), Eromba (mix of ingredients with vegetable, chilli and dry fish), Uttee curry (dry peas with soda), vegetable and Phola (flattened rice with banana, milk, jaggery and honey). My friend chose the Manipuri Royal Maharaja Thali which had all the dishes of my thali, with an additional portion of fish fry and Ngaringkha (bitter fish fry).
Cost: ₹600 for two.
Location: Nongkynrih, Laitumkhrah, Shillong. (Map)
Tip: The thali is sufficient and wholesome for one.
Klong, Hotel Poinisuk: Best for Drinks
Hotel Poinisuk is a new hotel, which juts out prominently on Laimtumkrah point. The service of this hotel is exceptionally good and I never tire revisiting. My haunt is the terrace bar, Klong which adjoins to the restaurant Dopwai. The drinks here are relatively good but what stands out is the ambience. With good views of Shillong’s hills, soft contemporary music and the open-to-sky experience, we have long pined for a place like this in the city. The friendly and polite service adds to the relaxing ambience. I have been here multiple times and will keep going back.
The food is not exceptional but worth a try. By Shillong standards, I found this bar a little expensive. I wouldn’t mind stepping out for a drink (or three) while meeting a few friends. Every visit has been better than the last.
Cost: ₹400 for a Mojito, ₹2000 a meal for three.
Location: Laitumkhrah Point, Laitumkhrah, Shillong. (Map)
Tip: Go in the early evenings to enjoy a sundowner with Shillong lighting up against the mauve sky.
Cafe Shillong: Best for Momos and Hot Chocolate
Cafe Shillong has been popularized much with celebrity visits and numerous social media check-ins. However, I go here only for the chicken momos and the hot chocolate. The Chicken Bastenga (rice served with bamboo shoot chicken curry and amazing chilli chutney) is strictly okay. If you’re looking for authentic Khasi food, I’d suggest one of the smaller, local eateries.
Cost: ₹230 for Chicken Bastenga.
Location: LP Building, Nongkynrih, Laitumkhrah Main Road, Shillong. (Map)
Tip: On Saturday and Sunday nights they have live gigs, where you can chance upon the awesome Lou Majaw.
Dylan’s Cafe: Best for Quick Bites
Titled as ‘Shillong’s First Tribute Cafe’, Dylan’s Cafe in Risa Colony is picking up pace very quick. And for all the right reasons. As you walk into a gramophone-studded wall, the posters and the artwork keep getting better. The outdoor tables overlook the green horticultural space around the Directorate of Agriculture and the neighbouring trees are decorated with lamps and trinkets. The tables inside are spacious and cosy.
I drank a Crunchy Oreo Shake, which I thought could do without the extra sweetness. Though the cappuccino was heartening, especially on a cold, windy day. I loved the Naga Cheese Chilli Toast and would go back there for it. We spent hours talking and enjoying mellow rock classics in the background.
Cost: ₹1300 for three over four hours.
Location: Tripura Castle Road, Risa Colony, Shillong. (Map)
Tip: Everything is great here.
Have you tried any of these restaurants/cafes in Shillong?