The north east of India has a lot to offer especially for someone who is far removed from this culture and traditions. We had absolutely no idea about the food in Shillong that we would encounter. We knew the staple was a rice but beyond that we wanted to be surprised. (surprised is also code for too lazy to do research)
So for the ignorant me, my first agenda when I reached Shillong was to collect as much information as I could but from locals and not from the net and when it came to food in Shillong, this page from the hotel menu at Ri Kynjai, Shillong was my guiding beacon.
The items that we tried from this menu were Jastem, Khaw Khasi (red rice), Bastenga Chicken, Bastenga Pork, Chirapunjee chicken curry, Doh Thed Sdeh and Do O Pura. My personal favorites out of this list were Doh Thed Sdeh, Bastenga, the red rice of course and Chirapunjee chicken curry. I did not fancy Do O Pura or Jastem much however I did order this as I was a bit under the weather at the time. Also strangely my toddler rekindled his romance with noodles that he had encountered in Singapore.
A popular joint in Shillong happens to be Cafe Shillong which is a hangout place for the youth. This small cafe with walls adorned by football heroes and guitars dishes out some very yummy momos with amazing chutney and lemon tea. Cafe Shillong also has contemporary cuisine for someone who would like to go back to eat something more comfortable.
The local market has some amazing tantalizing tastes in unexpected places. We went searching for the ghost pepper in Bara Bazaar and encountered amazing pineapples, the kind that take you over the moon and back, dried fish (I am not a fan but I know people who are) and pickled bamboo shoots which is again an acquired taste as the oil used is typically strong mustard oil.
Meghalaya definitely has some very unique experiences in store and what I love about the place is that it is eco tourism and responsible tourism that is practiced ( so far atleast). The beauty of the north east is that each place has its unique culture, cuisines and folk tales that are better accessible these days.