One of the first concerns travellers have while moving around in our many flavoured land is about the hygiene of the eating joints. These often rob us of the opportunity of sampling the local goodies on health issues, that may entail or the doctor’s visit that follows. What a better way to prevent such a occurrence than to have the meal prepared with local ingredients by the doctors themselves, with one of them being a gastrointestinal surgeon. This gem located close to the Mall at Manali lies on your right when you are climbing to the Hadima Mata Temple or the Clubhouse. Manned by Dr Sachdeva & his elegant wife Neena, who left their city life to pursue their dream on the hills, you could be sure of two things fresh local produce, they grow a lot of it in their garden, cooked with care and minimum embellishments. Accentuating the flavours without overpowering the dish is a challenge for any chef, which they carry out with aplomb. Being partial to the local trout, had it regularly during our longish stay was a show stopper. We Bongs are known to the second best people in the world. to talk about fish (the Japanese I’m told has won the march there, by being able to tell the precise time a fish was caught, rather than the day, which we can by tasting the fish). Can assure you that not only was it playing in the Beas earlier in the day, it was prepared just right with a little loving hand of the chef. Their momos were delectable with the sauce being discrete enough for polite conversations without missing the customary bite. The Ginger Honey tea had the miraculous effect of warming us enough to bring cheer to a muggy wet afternoon is also a must try. Being from the city where Kathi roll was invented, I always knew this to be something that leaves a grease trail on the palms even when presented with a customary wrapping paper for soaking the oil. So when Dr.Sachdev boasted of their avatar being grilled it felt quite oxymoronic, but was I surprised by the outcome, happy to report of being a neo convert to this innovation, which has zero oil, but is surprisingly tasty.
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