If there were only, only two things in the world I were given a choice of doing, these would be it. I envy people who get to do both and some even get paid for it. Since I am not one of those lucky souls, my better half and I have compromised with at least a twice a year trip to someplace new. Do you think a lifetime would be enough doing this? Nah. So when we do travel, we try to get the most of it - the food (that’s up there in our list, thank God), the local culture, the touristy attractions & the not-so-touristy attractions, among other things.
Ok. So let’s get to the important stuff. This month we traipsed along to Pondicherry, a unique combination of the young and the old, the modern and the traditional, the temples and the churches, the French and the Indian. It is truly a heritage city. And this unique culture reflects on the food as well. Right from the traditional South Indian platter to authentic Creole food, from authentic French desserts to numerous bakeries dotting the city - you’ll get it all here.
So, here’s what not to miss (in no particular order):
Solar Kitchen, Visitors’ Centre, Auroville: This Café is unique because as the name suggests, the kitchen uses solar energy for its cooking. Food is simple, delicious and healthy. Right from quiches, pizzas to Indian meals. Try their health thali and hibiscus juice - it’s delicious.
Le Dupleix Restaurant, White Town, Pondicherry: This one’s a stylist restaurant with excellent food and good service. We loved their European appetisers (brandy infused chicken, Bruschetta, Signature smoked chicken) and in fact made a meal out of these. Their raw mango margherita was refreshing in the summer heat as was the homemade coffee & cinnamon ice cream. They have thrown in few history lessons too with the menu, which is charming. In fact, this building was the Mayor’s residence back in 18th century.
Carte Blanche, Hotel De L'orient, White Town, Pondicherry: This place serves absolutely authentic Creole food and we loved it. The options are limited but this ensures quality is good. We tried the Gaspascho (a cold soup), crepes stuffed with mushroom & cheese and the mutton coconut curry. Their Triple Chocolate (chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream and mousse) is yummy – by the time we thought of taking a photo, these were licked clean! Service could most definitely be upped though.
You are going to have one gastronomic food experience in this city!
P.S. If you have suggestions, feel free to drop in at the comments section. I don't mind adding to that list of reasons for going back. ;-)
Till next time,