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Does Kumaoni food in Delhi and in Uttarakhand taste the same? We were recently at The Golden Tusk in Jim Corbett and had an array of vacation experiences, Kumaoni cuisine being one of those. What else can you do here and is it worth? Please read on.
Tourism in Uttarakhand in lockdown
Tourism in Uttarakhand was one of the first sectors to recover from the pandemic situation. As soon as lockdowns were lifted, people from cities headed to the hills for a breather. Himachal and Uttarakhand are the most popular tourist states in North India. Uttarakhand is open for tourism but there are certain protocols travelers need to follow. We recently visited Uttarakhand and have posted a video on Corona Guidelines for Uttarakhand Travel. A short paragraph on these requirements has been included later in this post.
The Golden Tusk at Jim Corbett, Uttarakhand was our destination this time. This was our second stay here. We were drawn not only by the beauty of the property but also the Himalayas that were so clear as a backdrop.
The Golden Tusk Hotel in Jim Corbett
Jim Corbett has many segments for a quiet town. The Golden Tusk is located at Ramnagar, which also happens to be the nearest railway station to Jim Corbett Park. They offer pick-up services if you are coming via train and we got to go to the resort on their open Jeep. Parts of the way were through Dhela forest and standing on the rear seat of the Jeep, with the forest wind blowing on our face, we soon forgot our train travel fatigue on a sticky summer afternoon.
The next 3 days were sheer heaven here. This is a luxury resort in Jim Corbett with various rooms, suites, and villas. The living space in every room is spacious and the bathroom has all modern amenities. It is fully power-backed and has WIFI. We had to attend to some professional assignments from here and the internet service was of help. To balance any stress from office work that we were carrying, they have 2 swimming pools and one happened to be just outside our room. We washed our work woes off frequently here.
But the beauty of this resort is its landscaping. It has more than 100 varieties of trees and an ever-growing variety of shrubs and bushes. Flowers in surprising shapes and colors and leaves in unique arrangements make it look like a pretty forest. Pathways run all across the area and a mini-canal with fancy bridges completes the setting. We loved the way that was lined with Weeping Willow trees. It looked as if the leaves were raining on us. It is the rainy season anyway, so that completed our monsoon story.
Let’s face it there is not much to do in Jim Corbett. The safaris happen in the morning and afternoon. Once you are back from the safari, you are exhausted and all you want is to fuel yourself up. The Golden Tusk lays very elaborate buffets for their guests during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The breakfast comprised English items such as milk-cereal, omelets, boiled eggs, baked beans and sausages, and bakery. To balance that, they had Indian favorites such as dosa, idli, vadas, chole-bhature, poori-aloo, poha so on and so forth.
The chefs adopted a similar approach for lunch and dinner. The meals had vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian soup options, a selection of salads, North Indian main course dishes with many vegetarian and at least two non-vegetarian items, papadum and cakes, soufflé, and halwa for dessert. That is of course a broad outline and there are many different combinations that they serve. Also, they have an open tea cart arrangement every evening where tea coffee, cookies, and fritters are served. The good part is that you have a wide range of choices and there is always something for everybody.
The Golden Tusk also has an ala carte menu. During our recent trip, we tried some new dishes that made our trip a real gastronomical journey to Uttarakhand. A special mention to the new stars –
Kumaoni food at The Golden Tusk
Kumaoni food is the new star in North Indian cuisine. Very familiar yet with a twist, its simplistic charm always blows us over. Given that exotic ingredients are scarce in the hills, locally produced fruits, vegetables and herbs are used to cook mouthwatering spreads.
The good chefs at The Golden Tusk treated us to a sumptuous lunch of Kumaoni special food. We were already familiar with the popular dishes Bhat ki Churkani and Aloo ke Gutke. This time we were treated to new items such as Palak ka Kappa and non-vegetarian Latpata Chicken. And how can we forget Bhang ki Chutney that added a rustic flavor to the meal?
Along with seasoned cucumber, grated radish, millet bread or Madwa ka Roti, and a perfect balance of healthy slices, the whole meal was a gastronomical delight with nutrition at its core.
Continental food in Jim Corbett
Continental food is a new entry in the kitchens of The Golden Tusk. We got to taste a plethora of soups salads entrees and main course dishes, not to mention the desserts. 10 on 10 to the Greek Farmer’s Salads, Lemon Butter fish, Grilled fish and Chicken, Arabiata Pasta. Not to make too fine a point, the Burmese soup Khao Suey and momos were part of these spreads. No complaints since Delhites have a special connection with momos.
For desserts, we had lemon cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and swiss rolls. The last two were a deadly combination and we enjoyed that thoroughly.
Incidentally, the continental dinner was served alfresco, below a gazebo. The Golden Tusk guys offer this special service where the meal is served in what we can describe as a surreal setting. While it is ideal for a celebration or a romantic dinner, we experienced a simpler version of this arrangement and enjoyed the unprecedented fuss.
Bakery at The Golden Tusk
The food turned out to be the focus of this trip and this section would remain incomplete if we do not mention the bakery of The Golden Tusk. They have a pastry department that is churning out magic these days. Among the host of cakes and buns we had and all of these, we assure you were drool-worthy it’s the donuts we shall never forget. The donuts were fried to perfection and had the faultless white chocolate icing on the top. The bits of icing broke and fell on the side and Bedabrata polished off every little crumb. Needless to say, we ate our hearts out on this trip.
Activities at The Golden Tusk
What else can you do at The Golden Tusk? They have bicycles that you can take for a swing. You can also go for village walks and bird-watching expeditions with the expert Sureshji here. He will take you to the most picturesque spots and dried riverbeds in Jim Corbett.
For romantic dinners and unique family experiences, try Pool Dining at The Golden Tusk which is one of their USPs.
There are swings and other park equipment for kids inside the resort. They also have a mini-golf course. Among the indoor games, they have a foosball table that we loved.
If you want some exercise, in addition to swimming, they have a gymnasium. Incidentally, they have recently built a soundproof auditorium where programs and functions can be held without offending the surroundings or other guests in the resorts.
They also have pebble paintings, Zipline, bicycles, and other fun activities at The Golden Tusk to keep the Baccha Log busy and entertained throughout their stay.
Rules for traveling to Uttarakhand
As of August 2021 it is mandatory to carry a vaccination certificate or a COVID negative certificate while traveling to Uttarakhand. RTPCR or Rapid antigen tests – both are acceptable. Once the COVID test report or the vaccination certificate comes to hand, you should also e-register yourself on the Uttarakhand government tourism website. This is a simple form that calls for basic personal information, the test/vaccination report, and hotel booking details. Once you fill the form, you get a confirmation that should be printed and carried or saved on the mobile phone.
COVID precautions at The Golden Tusk
We saw that The Golden Tusk has taken many steps in terms of COVID precaution of its guests. When we entered, our luggage was sanitized separately and then delivered to our rooms. Sanitizer disposers were fitted in every room. All the staff wore masks and gloves. The people in the kitchen and dining area additionally wore head-nets. As boarders, we felt safe here and that mattered.
That was how our recent vacation at The Golden Tusk went. We worked – ate – swam – rested on repeat mode. What made our experience even more seamless and pleasurable is the amazing staff. Any request was attended in minutes and each and everyone greeted with a smile.
No wonder, The Golden Tusk resort in Jim Corbett has repeat value and we don’t mind coming back again.