Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Parampara - Gateway Paradise - Guwahati

Gateway Paradise
0361 2666904, +91 9435548812

Parampara Paradise was universally recommended as the best place for us to try authentic Assamese food in Guwahati.

The ground floor is called Paradise which has fans but no air conditioning and the upstairs with airconditioning is called Parampara. I didn't check the menu downstairs, so I do not know if there is a difference in pricing between the 2.

Parampara Paradise offers a variety of 6 different thalis. The mega thali or the Parampara Thali at 350Rs offers unlimited servings of everything

We ordered the Assamese Vyanjan Non veg thali at Rs170/- each. Only the steamed joha rice is unlimited in this thali. But quantities are more than enough for one person. The Assamese thalis only serve rice. Rotis are not an item seperately available on the menu. But they do have an Indian thali that offers rotis/chapatis and the husband who needs rotis with his meal, requested them to add a roti to his thali which they obliged after a short discussion.

This Assamese Vyanjan Non veg thali included : unlimited steamed joha rice, (clockwise) bowls of payas - vermicilli paysam on this day, assorted palate ticklers, Masor Tenga- Rohu fish in a sour curry, chicken curry, a dry vegetable - one of the many greens specific to Assam, pitika - mashed potatoes with mustard oil, mustard seeds, fresh corriander and chillies, dal - lentils, Khar - a vegetable preparation with soda bicarbonate.

I will need to find someone who can explain to me the concept of soda bicarb being the chief ingrdient in cooking a vegeatble. The vegetable on the day we were there was knol khol - not one of my favourites, so this was the only item that remained uneaten on my plate. My husband did not like the overwhelming taste of soda bicarb, so he did not eat this either.

The palate ticklers ( we call these items thond launk in Konkani - they are strongly sour or spicy like pickles or chutneys which increase the flow of saliva and hence improve appetite and bring excitement even to a simple meal of rice and dhal or pez - rice gruel)were supposed to include Kahudi - dry mustard paste with mustard oil and tamarind juice, Kharoli - dry mustard paste with mustard oil & soda bicarb, Kharisha- grated bamboo shoot with mustard oil & red chillies and Mahor Guri - powdered gram lentils with salt, lemon juice & chillies.

We did arrive late and perhaps they ran out of some items, so what is actually in this bowl is a slice of the local lemon, green chilli, Kahudi - hiding under the chilli, Mahor guri - to the right of the Kahudi and a green chutney

All thalis are served in traditional bell metal plates and bowls.
 In the vegetarian Assamese vyanjan thali - 160/- the fish and chicken dishes are substituted with a paneer curry, soya kofta curry and mahor bor tenga.

The massive Parampara thali besides offerring unlimited servings, includes a flavored organic soft drink, pigeon or duck curry instead of chicken, fish wrapped in plaintain leaves and roasted over charcoal, and an intriguing traditional dessert of cream, Assamese puffed rice and jaggery. This item is also on the limited a la carte menu, but unfortunately wasn't available by the time we finished lunch.

I'd love to try this dessert and the roasted fish, but I need to be really hungry to be able to do justice to this thali. But given that we are moving to Guwahati, I'm sure the opportunity will present itself.

There is an Assamese non-veg thali 140/- which offers mutton instead of chicken and curd instead of payas - dessert.

If you really aren't interested in trying Assames food they do offer an Indian Thali - North Indian Vegetarian - for 140/-. This thali includes rice and chapati, dal, mixed vegetable, paneer curry, vegetable kofta, pickles, papad, Mahor Guri, salad and a choice of dessert or dahi.

The a la carte menu is very limited about 13 items which are meant to supplement a thali rather generate a meal on their own. Pigeon or duck curry is available for 180/- (I'm not sure if an order of this comes with free rice) Gooseberry soup, chicken in bamboo, fish in bamboo, plaintain flowers cooked in channa dal are some of the dishes they offer.

Fosters beer is the only alcohol served here at 150/- for a large bottle, a glass of aerated cold drink is 30/-

Service is relaxed. I wouldn't say it is slow, it just goes with the pace of life in Guwahati.The waiters each wear a traditional Assamese muffler/stole around their necks which seems a bit absurb (given the weather) yet endearing.

Prices include all extras - no VAT, Sales Tax, Service Charge extras. Hence rates seem extremely reasonable for someone like me who has been jaded into submission by the horridly high pricing +20+% taxes of Delhi

Rating : 3 / 5

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