Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gourmands in Gorkhaland

Having heard a lot about the place, we visited what appears to be the one decent pub in Darjeeling – Glenneries. The place was about as lively as a morgue. The waiter brought us our bill at 9:15 p.m. unasked and shuffled around making it quite clear that they’d really like to call it a day and soon.

A pleasant surprise was a recommendation by a friendly salesman at the Nathmulls tea shop, where we’d gone to pick up the famous Darjeeling tea. He suggested we try this tiny, unimpressive looking restaurant called Kunga for good Tibetan food. The waitress laid a pen and stack of paper in front of us. It took us a while to figure out that there would be no “order taken” – customers have to write down what they want and that slip of paper is then handed over to the chef. The food was delicious and value for money – our servings of fried momos and thupka were enough to satisfy a medium-sized hungry lion.

At Kalimpong, we lunched at The Park – a short but rather steep and winding drive away from the main market area. We quite enjoyed the food and ambience – the hotel seems more like an old plantation bungalow with a charming compound than a commercial establishment. A snoop around the attached souvenir shop yielded an interesting engraved silver ashtray for Smoky Joe.

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