In this concluding episode of the three-part Shimla Food Tour episode, we are out on the streets to explore few more popular food options both the street side ones and also at a few sought-after places. In this gastronomic trail were joined by our amazing host Savitoj Singh who walked us through the cheerful lanes of Shimla and acquainted us with some of its best flavours.
Our first stop was a very special café named the Book Café. Nestled in the lap of nature, this cafe run by the 'open jail prisoners' of Kaithu Jail has become a popular hangout place for people. This unique initiative was started with the motive of rehabilitating the prisoners. Along with the varieties of fast food, it also has an open library for visitors. Here we wanted to try their Kara Special which to our disappointment was only available on Tuesdays and Saturdays that too outside the jail premises. But the geniality of the men at the counters and the overall ambiance of the place itself made the visit special.
From there we reached the most popular ice cream joint in the town, The Embassy Ice cream where we met Savitoj. He was quite excited to introduce us to this place whose Chocobars and mango duds were the best-chilled treats that he has grown up eating. The raspberry ice cream comprising of a smooth vanilla ice cream base topped with a raspberry crush was yummy and delightful.
Next, we walked up to a person selling fried peanuts and chana right under the cool shade of a huge tree. We were surprised to know that he has been selling this playful snack in paper cones for the past 43 years. As we gleefully munched on the crispy, crunchy, and spice mixed peanuts right out of the paper cones, Savitoj shared his memories of getting them just for rupees two while returning home from school.
After the nostalgic treat and pleasant interaction with a lively little girl occupied with her bubble toy, Savitoj took us to Sita Ram and Sons, one of the most iconic eateries in Shimla, whose Lucchi Chana is hugely popular with visitors and locals alike. The plateful of thin yet spongy Lucchi or Bhatura and a distinctly flavourful chana topped with chutney was indeed delicious. No wonder it’s a place that you must defiantly try in Shimla.
Next was the turn of the cheese Kulcha. We quite liked this cheesy twist to the popular channa kulcha where the bun like kulcha was stuffed with cheese slice and chana and topped with mayo. Easy-to-go stuff to check your hunger while walking.
The next destination that Savitoj fondly took us to for a unique fusion experience was a small and unassuming yet popular joint serving the Chinese Paratha. This deep-fried parantha, somewhat resembling a pie in appearance and fried momo in taste, was stuffed with delicious momo fillings and noodles. It was crisp from the outside and soft inside.
Our penultimate destination was the Ashiana restaurant. The ambiance was amazing and so was the food. We tried two popular Himachali non-veg dishes, Chaa Meat, and Anardana Chicken, along with the Himachali veg specialty Chane Ka Madra. All three dishes were delectably tangy because of the sour elements like curd and anardana. We thoroughly enjoyed the spread. You can try the place for traditional delicacies.
Our culinary trail ended with a chocolate and strawberry pan from Guru Pan. It wasn’t very appealing as the taste of the paan was completely overpowered by the sweetness and the chocolate and strawberry flavors.
With this, our Shimla Food Tour came to end. We are truly grateful for the enlightening company of our genial host Savijot Singh.