Darjeeling, located at the base of the Himalayas, is a beautiful little town in the West Bengal state of India. After staying in Kolkata for a few weeks, and spending a little time in Nagaland, I headed to Darjeeling. The closest train station to Darjeeling is New Jalpaiguri, which is better known as NJP. From there you have to take a jeep to Darjeeling town which takes approximately 4 hours.
After arriving in Darjeeling, we were extremely hungry, and the first restaurant we could come across was Singalila Restaurant, located right in the center of Darjeeling, just below the Chow Rasta. As soon as I pulled back the curtain and took a whiff, I could tell it was going to be an incredible meal!
The restaurant is run by a motherly lady and her daughters that cook a delightful mixture of Sikkimese and Nepali and Himalayan food. They have Tibetan thukpa noodles and also they serves momo dumplings, but I was far more interested in eating rice and curry! So as we sat down, we simply order rice, which came with a variety of different vegetable curries and then I also ordered a beef curry and a pork curry. On another day, I had their chicken curry which was equally delicious, but you always have to just eat what they have available that particular day.
The weather was extremely cold, probably close to freezing, but as soon as the mother brought me a fresh hot plate of rice paired with all the different curries I felt a lot warmer and more comfortable. You’ll be served first a plate of rice that comes with dal soup – sort of more Nepali style than Indian style, the vegetable dish of the day, possibly some curry potatoes or other starch. You can then add a meat curry to your meal if you’d like. The biggest bonus for me for eating eat Singalila restaurant in Darjeeling was the communal plate of raw red onions, chillies, and outrageously delicious green sauce. I honestly could barely believe how good the green sauce was, and I’m not totally sure what all the ingredients included. It was very spicy and garlicky and it went well with everything throughout the meal.
I loved this restaurant so much that I returned for lunch three days in a row – the food was that good! If you’re ever in Darjeeling, India, be sure to visit Singalila Restaurant for a home cooked motherly style meal – the food is marvelous!
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