Located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, Mcleodganj is a scenic hill station that attracts a huge number of tourists from all over the world. Being home to the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness Dalai Lama, Mcleodganj is also a major seat of Tibetan culture. The Tibetan influence can be seen in all parts of the town. Being a popular tourist and pilgrimage destination, Mcleodganj boasts of some amazing cafes and eateries. In today's episode we are exploring a few of them along with our host Anika.
We started the tour with a visit to the Thekchen Choeling Temple which houses the Namgyal Monastery and Tsuglakhang Temple. Here we got to interact with a young monk who has just completed the ordination ceremony.
From there we went to Norling restaurant for some favourite local dishes. It is an old Tibetan restaurant that focuses on classic recipes. Our pick over here was the chicken lamen and veg fingstel. The former was a flat noodles based dish while the later one was a glass noodles and potato based dish. Both of them had mild flavours that mostly came from the sauces and seasonings.
Next we visited the Tibetan Kitchen for more yummy Tibetan food. Here they also serve some South Indian and North Indian options but we settled for some mutton steamed momo and veg bhaklap. The momo were light on the palate, well stuffed and quite juicy. With a wonderful cheese and veggie based stuffing, the deep fried veg bhaklap was irresistible too. They seemed to be a closer cousin of sha phaley.
Our next stop was Kailash Kunga cafe which was suggested to us by our guide at the Norbulingka Institute. This is a small and cosy eatery run by a passionate lady who manages everything along with a very small team. There is a homely feel to the place and the food too. Here we had big momo and veg thukpa. The momo came along with rice soup while the thukpa had hand made noodles in it.
From there we went to Tibetan Quality Bakery which turned out to be a gem of a bakery stacked with fresh and inviting goodies. It is a small stall run by a genial old man who was a chef. At his recommendation we tried the Tibetan special nut bar and yak cheese chocolate cake. Both the dishes were absolutely delightful.
The final stop of the tour was another cosy eatery specialising in crepes.