The 3rd part of our Kalimpong street food tour covers a few other notable and not so notable destinations in the that gives us a sneak peak into the food scene over here. We are with our host Nicholas who is all excited to familiarize us with some of the quintessential Kalimpong stuff.
The first stop of this relaxed food tour was a badam mithai stall opposite Kalimpong Police Station. This small makeshift stall selling nariyal mithai and badam mithai can be found only during the winter months. The former was a coconut based sweet while the latter was a peanut jaggery brittle.
Next we gulped down some tea from Manoj Chaiwala who sells it on the move. He carries his portable stove, milk and other things from shop to shop in the vicinity.
The second stop was Healthilicious at 9th Mile. It is a native enterprise that is into dairy products. When we visited them, they were planning to launch the production of the famous Kalimpong cheese. This native cheese is very similar to Swiss cheese. We also tasted some Gouda which was sourced from Nepal. Their paneer is much loved by the locals.
From there we reached Kalimpong Tamang Gumba to see a very interesting production unit nestled inside its precincts. It was a noodles making unit run by local women. Witnessing the process and the sight of the drying noodles was a fascinating affair.
Next we had a bowl of kachar pachar near Kanchan Cinema Hall. This quintessential street food is a medley of Kalimpong's major food items like thukpa, phambi, mulo ka achar, aalu dum, kalo chana etc. We loved the interplay of the various tastes and textures.
After this we visited Dahal's Cottage Industry to taste an exclusive handmade confection from this city, the Kalimpong lollipop. Made with a standard ratio of milk and sugar, this toffee like sweet is a indeed a labour of love. Because of the stiff competition from more fancier stuffs, its demand has declined rapidly and so has its production that involves a lot of hardwok and expertise. They are perhaps one of the very few enterprises who still make small batches of this unique treat.
The penultimate stop was Narayan Das Sweets which is one of the oldest sweet shops in the locality. The old world ambience bears fond memories from the past. We loved the tea over here.
The last stop of this tour was a much loved Bhutanese restaurant named Za Khang. They have an elaborate traditional menu made with native ingredients. We had Zhatsapa, shamu datsi, suja and zao. It's relaxed ambience enhanced our food experience.