In my recent visit to Guwahati, I visited Khorika twice! To get the flavours for all those praises made for those Assamese cuisines. Khorika is situated near Bora Service bus stand, in Guwahati, a few kms away from Guwahati railway station. Without savouring the local delicacies in this restaurant famed for traditional Assamese cuisines, a visit to Guwahati remains shallow. Being home after a gap of some years I was more inclined towards having mouth-watering Assamese food items than the usual and ubiquitous chicken tikkas and biriyanis (although I love them anytime).
My expectation was brimming as I entered the restaurant. The place, had two separate dining areas-window facing and without, and was brimming with people-yes so popular it was. We managed to grab a seat that had just been vacated. The staff was prompt and courteous. The tables were decently spaced, which meant you could have a soft conversation without the fear of the other table occupants over hearing it; clean, tidy and airy. The furniture was modern and the decor pleasing to the eye. Nothing flashy and of course fully air conditioned.
Now coming to the best part – the food, the menu had interesting offerings like duck/ pork and fish with bamboo shoots, khorikas of potato, paneer, fish, chicken, duck and pork which is akin to succulent juicy pieces roasted in a stick- from where the name khorika was taken up I guess. It had prawns and roasts as well as vegetarian fares of alu pitikas and khars. Even the plain rice had a choice of Aijong, Joha etc. depending on the grain you chose. But the most popular servings of the restaurant were the different thaalis priced economically in a range of Rs 120 to Rs 150. It had a choice of two vegetarian thaalis of potato and paneer and of course the regular fish/chicken and pork thaalis. I have tasted the Rajasthani thaali in Chowki Dhaani, and also sampled the Gujarati and the Punjabi thaalis but always drew a blank whenever I had wanted to have an Assamese thaali, each time wishing that if only… and that if only was answered in Khorika. I opted for a thaali – the fish thaali while my companion preferred pork thaali.
Foods were served in ethnic copper dishes. The thaali, be it vegetarian or non vegetarian had a base of plain rice with eight bowls serving alu pitika, yellow dal, black dal, khar, a seasonal vegetable, kheer or payash , a tenga jhool and a roasted tomato chutney. Then as per your request of the thaali, a separate serving of paneer or fish or… Like in my case I had opted for fish, so I was served fish curry along with fish khorika. The food was unbelievably tasty, done almost to perfection but some which I would like to specially mention are the khaar, alu pitika, and tomato chutney- simple dishes yet amazingly done. The khorikas were an experience. Altogether, it was satisfying to the core that I vowed to come back the next day and I did so. But the next day I decided to experience the duck with bamboo shoots and pork dry fry. The pork dry fry was comparatively low on fat and high on taste hence lighter on the stomach. The bamboo with duck was definitely tasty but as duck meat is quite high on fats, you might need someone to help you out to clean it up. As and after thought we had ordered yellow dal fry which is a Punjabi dish but that was a hit too. Over all the experience was a gourmet’s delight and a lovely new year and Christmas gift to myself. A definite try for whoever visits Assam and would love to experience Assamese cuisine. It makes me swell with pride at what we have to offer to the world. Kudos for the concept to the owner and master chef Mr Atul Lahkar. A big thumbs up!
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