(NOTE: The previous review was what I wrote for my India Syndicate test, here's the honest, no-frills-attached one)
To be a pork-infatuate Delhiite with a North-East (NE) connection and not to have discovered "Rosang" means you’re incredibly uninformed and need to do something about your General Knowledge. And before you are discovered and muted, read what follows. Those who lack patience with words, may rush to the end, check the address and sniff it down this weekend – now, that I have already mentioned "pork" and “Restaurant”! However, shoved in the basement of the oh-so-cramped Munirka market of South Delhi, you have to be dog-trained to do that. The address should help and if it doesn’t, stop any passerby with an Oriental look (Munirka is studded with them) and you know what to ask!
Run by a humble Manipuri couple, Rosang (named after their son) is a post-card sized eating hole whose menu reads some of the most-loved culinary delights from the kitchens of North East India – with Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachali cuisine as the menu dominants. Not just that, you also have the choice of teaming your platter with the regular Oriental darlings like Momos, Thukpas and Chowmein. The NE section on the menu might leave you stuttering, so I suggest you consult with the waiter or buy my recommendations (please remember I have a ‘tongue’ for exotic food). NE cuisine has a lot of fermented, odorous stuff that might make you see “mustard flowers” (translation of an Assamese expression, meaning “faint”). For example, I ordered for a fermented Mizo Pork dish called Bai and in two gulps I felt I would pass out. Please don’t be repulsed, consider it a reminder - ‘exotic’ need not necessarily mean ‘tasty’.
The not-too-daring ones (like me) can safely try – Sohchiar (Mizo khichdee with shredded, crisp pork/beef), Shay Pally (North Indian gujjia-like, fried maida dumplings stuffed with pork/beef), Ironba (dry fish chutney/had with rice), Akhuni (fermented beans served with raja mircha/had with rice), Tibetan Tea (now, do not expect Yak milk at Munirka) or order for an authentic Pork/Beef Thali with the menu basics.
After you have belched and rubbed your belly, wind up with the traditional Shillong kwai (betel nut) with the desi paan. It might leave your ears red and throbbing, but that is exactly the kick to expect! And you’d love it!
During my stay in those quarters of the city, I became a Sochiar and Tibetan tea infatuate – great taste, less-oily and that small meal for just Rs.20 was a bet I couldn’t have had elsewhere. But hygiene-freaks might want to shoot me for tempting you with North-East cuisine at Rosang. Not that I’m a total hygiene-dunce just that I have set my priorities a little differently – culinary pleasure come before all hygiene of the world. And since I do not remember puking or rushing home to ‘unload’ after hogging at Rosang, and have been promoting it sans qualms for all these years (this one has gone to the I.S. test, my Tribune Column and of course it'd sit here in my blog).
So, what if the A/C is a little people-shy and non-Airtel users go network-less during their brief repasts (Rosang being in the basement) – the taste, the rates (dirt cheap) and the fact that you will get this food nowhere else in Delhi – makes it worthwhile! If that matters............
Address:- 138 A/5, Rama Market, Behind MCD Park, Munirka Village, Delhi - 67. Ph. No: 9811423552, 9811501052
1) Did you know: Paan-tamul (betel nut) is a traditional mouth-freshener in the North East region, served post meals and to welcome guests. They make your tongue slothful, just like the Assamese khar, and is totally discouraged for regular use or you might have problems pronouncing words like “Chacha”...if you know what I mean.
2) The owner also has a pork/beef (fine quality) shop and a beauty parlour in the same complex.
I shifted base and am settled in Hyderabad for almost a year now and every time I look back, Rosang appears amongst the things I miss most about Delhi. During my last visit to Delhi (in August)the owner (ah! I don't remember his name) accorded me a hearty welcome and carefully extracted a piece of newspaper from his drawer with his restaurant's review and my name on it (the Tribune publication). He said at least three visitors came searching for his restaurant with such copies....I was so touched!!! So was he and this time he didn't accept a penny...instead packed some fine Manipuri dry fish chutney (hot and delicious) and Pork for me!