New Foods of the North-East @ Rosang: Bloggers' Table
The best part of my awesome life is my hobby. My hobby of tasting the most amazing foods, from every corner of the world, click them, (put them up on Instagram for my friends to feel jealous!), write about it. And when this hobby is fulfilled with some of my closest friends, then it's all I want!
A beautiful Sunday had me travelling to Hauz Khas Village, to feast on food from the Seven Sisters of our country, the mystical North-eastern part of our country. I'll be honest, I knew very little about it, barring some unsavoury rumours. All I knew was that there's a lot of pork that's used, bamboo shoots and vegetables. But that was it. Charis was gung-ho about Rosang, a sweet little cafe in HKV. And there it was that we went.
The restaurant is tiny, barely 25 covers, and embellished with lots of North-Eastern jewelery. The entire place was done with wood, which is my favourite element. The top floor of the building has the shop, where you get bamboo crafts, jewelery and beautiful crockery. The service was really sweet, as was the owner Mary. The table started with some Rice beer, a sweetish, mildly pungent and super potent beer drink, and definitely an acquired taste. We pounced on the menu, and Parul and I came up with almost same choices! We chose Bawngsa Kan and Spare Ribs for starters. The Bawngsa Kan, from Mizoram was fried red meat slices, with Bamboo Shoot and Cherry Tomatoes. While the meat was way too dried out, almost like jerky, the salad tasted fresh and seriously different. The bamboo shoot slices felt like they were marinated, and tasted deliciously mouth-puckeringly tangy.
Along side the Bawngsa Kan, we had the Pork Spare Ribs. This was phenomenal. The ribs, that were deep fried, had no pretenses of being healthy or low fat. On the contrary, there was chunks of glistening melting pork fat, bubbling on top of the tender fried meat, with bone. Served with a lemon wedge, salad, and a spicy chilli sauce, a better version of the sauce you get with momos, this was insanely delicious. The fat, fried and seared, sealed off the moisture and a luxurious taste in the meat. It was like my best fantasy was deep-fried and served to me. For me, completely the star of the meal.
We moved on to the mains then. We had Jadoh, from Meghalaya, which was Wild Red Rice with Pork, a meal in itself. This is a acquired taste, which must accompany one's awareness of unhusked grains. I was not aware. While the taste was quite delicious and intense, the texture was extremely off-putting, to someone who is not accustomed to textures of whole grains. The rice was interspersed with something that strongly resembled the unpleasant gritty taste and texture of dirt. Charis tells me, that texture is thanks to black sesame seeds. It should be noted here, that my fellow bloggers found it very good, so do decide taking both opinions into account.
Along with Steamed Rice, we had Dohneiihong, which is Smoked Pork with Black Sesame. Again, a delicious dish, with that crunch of black sesame, just not unpleasant this time. The dish was a dense jungle-green in colour. The fat was almost melty, the meat was falling off the bone, and was tasting perfectly hand-in-glove with the rice. It was the fat that kept the meat to such a tender stage. The best main dish I had that day, easily.
Aside from this, we had Ngatok, a fish stew, made without oil from Arunachal Pradesh, Aloo Taama from Sikkim and Bai, a vegetable stew. The Ngatok was the perfect diet food, light, flavourful and absolutely oil free. The fish was tender, flaky and very tasty. The Bai, which is made with butter or oil is supposed to be a lot better than what we were served, made with fermented pork fat, just for us. Having said that, being a light vegetable stew, full of aubergines and beans, it would be pretty good for health. Aloo Taama was a potato curry with bamboo shoots, tasting just like ghar ka aloo ki subzi.
All in all, Rosang is good for a visit when you want to taste something different. I have to admit though, North-Eastern food is not my cup of tea. And that's certainly not because of Rosang. Rosang does a very good job of very home-style North-Eastern food, prepared and served with lots of love and smiles. We had ordered a lot, two servings of many, and we had a bill of about Rs. 700, including beverages and taxes. Which, in my eyes is pretty cost-effective! And here's us!
Photo courtesy Nachiketa Chandra
Also present at the table:
Charis @ Culinary Storm
Sid @ Chef at Large
Nachiketa @ Crazy Over Desserts
Parul @ The Shirazine
Till the next time!