So my friends and I went backpacking (kind of) across Shimla this last week, and we had fun. There was snow, and scenery and a lot of other things, but because this is a food blog, let’s focus on the food here.
So we landed in Shimla on the evening of the 12th, and we were starving. Like haven’t seen food in a week starving; and as a result of that, there is no photographic evidence of the food, but I will try and paint you a word picture. So we had chicken momos, cheesy garlic bread, the family veg pizza, and the sausage cheese burger at Beekays, a bakery at the very beginning of Shimla’s Mall Road. The chicken momos, which came with a generous amount of mayonnaise, Schezwan sauce, and the local green chutney were amazing. The chicken was tender, and well spiced, and the skin wasn’t thick enough to overpower the chicken-ness of it. The mayo, oh my dear god, the mayo! As a person who is usually not a fan of mayo, if I tell you the mayo was edible, it means that it was pretty good by normal standards. But this mayo, I sing praises of. It was thick, creamy, and not too eggy. It was brilliant. The garlic bread was freshly toasted, and the cheese was all melty and oozy, and well, delicious. It quite literally did melt in our mouths. The pizza was good, really good. I mean, how do you describe good pizza, right? 😛 The sausage burger was basically four pieces of tender, juicy sausages smothered with cheese, and placed inside a burger bun. And it was heavenly.
For dinner the same day we went to Wake and Bake cafe. I ordered their bacon, cheese and egg waffle with cream sauce with a cafe mocha, and the others ordered hummus with pita, white sauce spaghetti with garlic bread, lemon iced tea, and chicken hollandaise. My waffles were amazing! The cheese, the egg, the bacon- they were all perfect, and the cream sauce added the right amount of flavour and texture to it. Also, bacon! *fangirling hard*. The hummus and pita was pretty damn good, except well, for the lack of garlic. The chicken hollandaise, though, must be top three amongst the blandest things I have eaten in life. The salad that came with it was nice and crisp, and the chicken was cooked well, but that’s about as far it goes. My coffee was brilliant, though, and being the coffee addict that I am, I am going to put it up on a pedestal, and call it the highlight of my day. The iced tea was also quite good, but coffee is coffee. For dessert, we had the apple pie, and the carrot cake, both of which were average.
Waffles with cheese, egg, and bacon. There is bacon under the egg and cheese. Really. I don’t lie about bacon. Also, coffee.
Carrot cake for dessert.
So the next day, for breakfast, we had amazing paranthas and pakodas, and average coffee. Again, we were ravenous, so no photos, but the food was amazing. The paranthas were steaming hot, and the mixture of potatoes, cottage cheese, and other vegetables (I think) was dotted with little green chillis. Being the sucker for chillis that I am, this was a clear winner for me. But really, the food was really good. The others agreed with me. The pakodas were slightly doughy, though, so that was slightly disappointing, but hey, one can’t have everything in life.
We then had Maggi (instant noodles), because as every Indian can relate, Pahadi Maggi FTW. For the others, Pahadi Maggi is the Maggi served in the hillier areas, towards the northern part of India. Nobody knows why we’re so fascinated with this particular Maggi, but everyone knows that it tastes amazing. And amazing it was, complete with onions and carrots and capsicums, and perfectly spiced. So far, Shimla food hadn’t disappointed me.
And then began our search for jalebi (fried batter dipped in a sugary sweet syrup) and doodh, because it is apparently a specality here. Now, we had no idea what this tasted, or even looked like, so we were walking in blind on this one. Turns out it’s just crushed jalebis served in a tall glass of sweetened milk. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really good either. I mean, I love jalebis, but this was just… different. Not that I have a problem with different, but you know, I wouldn’t go out of my way to look for this again.
Jalebi-doodh. Doodh means milk in Hindi, and the orange pieces are the jalebis. Jalebis are amazing, but that’s a story for another day.
We didn’t really want too much dinner after this, but we opted to get some stuff packed from this place called Hide Out Cafe. I think this place gave a new meaning to the term ‘pleasantly surprised’, because we went there sans expectations, and the food there was brilliant, to say the least. I had the chicken panini sandwich, and it was really good. I think I need to take a moment to applaud the people of Shimla on their mayonnaise. The others had the family sized veg pizza, which was also pretty good!
We ended up having breakfast the next day (well, some of us) there as well. I had the Mediterranean omlette, and a flat white. And both were delicious. The omlette was an eggalgamation of cheese, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and olives if I remember right. It came with a side of hash browns and toast. Even the toast here was good man! Another friend had the pancakes with chocolate, whipped cream, maple syrup, and berry compote. Again, it was really good, except for the berry compote, which tasted like chemicals.
My Mediterranean omlette.
We were only there for about 3 days, so we didn’t really have a chance to try out other places like Honey Hut, but what we did try, we liked.
For future travellers, however, I’m linking a Huffington Post article here, to help you find ten other amazing places to eat at.
‘Til next time!