Professionally, I run an IT project management firm and due to work, I have to travel to Guwahati frequently. And Assamese food, being similar to Bengali home food, is close to my heart. But somehow, getting a good Assam-like Assamese food in Kolkata is not so easy. Though we have seen few outlets serving North-Eastern food, it’s rarely the homely styled stuff that I get there. So when I heard of this place named Jaluk serving Assamese food, I thought “why not give it a try ? ” and I was in for a surprise.
Assamese food is close to Bengali food, in many ways. Fish, meat and fresh vegetable are abundant in the region and also, the use of drying and fermenting stuff is quite a common practice. Rice is the staple diet and most of the meal is designed around it. The cooking medium primarily is mustard oil, lending the strong earthy flavor. Instead of elaborate and complex spice mix, Assamese food relies primarily on aromatic herbs and ingredients. And brass metal is used heavily for serving. Though it’s close to Bengali food, the difference can be sensed. And quite contrary to the popular belief, Assamese food is not only about Pork and Bamboo shoots.
Now, this is the tough part. Finding Jaluk restaurant will test your patience. Though you can check the Google map link here, let me try to explain it to you. Let’s say, you’re moving from Sec V towards Technopolis building. Just opposite to Technopolis, there’s a branch of Azaad Hind Dhaba. Cross that and immediately take a left turn on the narrow lane inside. You might like to leave your car there. If you’re riding a bike, please proceed. Reach the T-junction ahead and take a left. Another 100 meters of walking and Jaluk is on your right.
It’s a small place with a no-frills interior. AC is there, along with a decent sitting. While the menu card will be served to you, day’s special dishes are written on the whiteboard behind the counter. They deliver via their delivery partners and that’s probably a better option if you’re looking for a fine dining experience.
Food there …
The service at Jaluk restaurant is quick and fast. And rather than holding a chat, the idea is to quickly finish your meal and make space for the next one. We ordered the veg special veg thali (120/-) and a portion of Fish Tenga and Pork dry fry with king chilly as sides for two of us. Service is prompt and we got our food served to us within 10 min. The food is served in the traditional kansa (brass metal) plates and bowls- adding to the aesthetics. The taste of all the items was good and at this price point, the thali is outstanding.
A la carte items
Pork fry with King chili, on the other hand, fell short of expectation at Jaluk. the balance of lean meat and fat was perfect and even being a fanatic, I couldn’t complain on that part. The problem was with the spice quotient. The flavor of King Chili was there alright, but the dish was supposed to be way hotter. It might happen that they’ve toned down the chilly factor, but I was missing the taste. The dry fish Chutney, on the other hand, was brilliant. It was a mashed chutney of some small fish. Whether it was anchovy or puntius, I couldn’t make out. But, the slightly sour and pungent taste was fantastic. I tried it with hot rice and on its own and simply loved it.
Overall, the experience of my two visits at Jaluk was pretty good. the food is homely, cooking simple and served at a pocket-friendly price. A filling meal for two persons came at a price of 560/-, which I felt was quite reasonable. And the taste of the food is what I get in Guwahati restaurants and that’s what mattered the most to me.
Bon apetit !!!
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