Monday, September 26, 2011

Makhan Bhog Food Court, Guwahati

Makhan Bhog Food Court
Royal Centre
Opp Deorah College
G S Road
Guwahati 781005

Tel: (0361) 246 7778, 98450 81406

Finding a clean hygienic place to sit down and grab a substantial bite between the hours of 3pm and 7pm, is quite a challenge in Guwahati, unless you are besotted with pizza. Dominoes and Pizza Hut are the only eateries that seem to be open all day in this city.

Having enjoyed the snacks at Makhan Bhog in Fancy Bazar, we had high hopes for the main Makhan Bhog outlet on GS Road, even though it is a vegetarian eatery.

Being around 5pm, the options available were chaat, South Indian, Chinese, Pasta and Roasti. While this may seem like a lot. to choose from, there are hardly 5 options under each cuisine. We ordered the Dahi Vada (55/-) which had some excellent curd, but a deplorable vada. The Agra Chaat (55/-) felt like something to use up all leftovers - a hodge podge of mattri, cholle, green gram and other stuff including dhokla - when did dhokla become part of Agra's street food?. The aloo tikki (50/-) was stuffed with dhuli moong and tasted better than the other chaat items, but it was served luke warm. Any chaat eater knows that tikkis have to be served so hot that they burn the roof of your mouth with the first bite since you just cant wait to dig in.

Given that the chaat options weren't up to the mark and kachori sabji are only available Sunday mornings between 8:30am and 10:30am, we thought we would try the South Indian offerrings and hopefully sate ourselves.
The Mysore masala dosa (85/-) was crisp and the chutneys were good but the Mysore masala was mixed with coconut shavings. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't authentic to its name. The rawa masala dosa (75/-) was also passable. This may just be the best available South Indian in Guwahati, but that isn't saying much.

I would never return to a place like this in Delhi, Bombay or Bangalore, but given the lack of options for South Indian food here and the unavailability of dosa rice, we may just find ourselves back here if a craving for crisp dosas hits us.

Their meals had a lot of North Indian staples and are served between 11:30-3:30am and 6:30-10:00pm. They even offer a specific thali between 12:15 to 3:00pm and a different one from 7:00-1:00pm. That may be better than their snacks menu, but if I have to visit a restaurant during meal times, I'd rather visit one that has non-vegetarian options.

The ground floor has a lot of savoury and sweet options meant for home consumption. the malai chamcham and the rasmalai (15/- per piece) were very good, as was the kaju katli (400/- per kilo). There are a lot of mixtures and namkeens. The sweets include milk based Bengali sweets which have to be consumed the same day, mithai that will last a day or 2 and dry fruit (almond & cashew) based mithai that will last a few days. The samosas and kachoris (8/-) however are not as fresh as those at the Fancy Bazaar outlet (where it is straight out of the frying pan and into your plate), but still tasty.

Its one of the cleanest places in Guwahati I have visited so far, for Indian sweets, so I will definitely go back here to stock up on mithai. Makhan Bhog is a success as a Mithai ka dukaan (sweet shop) or a halwai, not so much for its snack options.


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