With Northeast India fast becoming a traveler’s hotspot, leisure and business activities in the region are picking up visibly. Especially with the young enterprising folks leading from the front, there is certainly much more excitement, creativity and noise – which is definitely a good thing! Amongst these new age activities, eating out is fast becoming a favorite past time, which is a drastic change from earlier days, where meeting with friends was usually limited to the house or the neighborhood.
Imphal, the capital city of Manipur has seen a host of interesting food ventures with an aim to introduce global cuisines to the local folks, and authentic traditional fare to travelers from outside. Add to that, the creative minds of the young local entrepreneurs – and the ever demanding consumers, the cafe and restaurant ecosystem is fast becoming as interesting as is competitive. Today we chat with a young food entrepreneur cum photographer, who runs a cafe called “Timber Cafe” in Imphal, which is known for their simple and tasteful interiors and food.
Today we chat with Rashingam Ngoruh – a young food entrepreneur who runs a cafe called “Timber Cafe” in Imphal, and is also a well-known wedding photographer. We talk about his cafe, his photography, his roots and more.
Hi Rashingam! Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Rashingam Ngoruh, a wedding photographer and a self-confessed food enthusiast from Chandel, Manipur. I’m also the founder and owner of the cafe “Timber Cafe” in Imphal.
Tell us about your venture, your cafe ‘Timber”. What is the story behind the name?
Timber was mainly started with the objective to serve good and fresh food at a reasonable price. We’ve always wanted it to be a place where people can drop-in and hang-out without having to spend a lot.
The name “Timber” is named after our group (of friends) name. I chose to name it similarly with the intention of bringing the same kind of friendship, love and camaraderie to the cafe and it’s patrons.
A look at the interiors of Rashingam’s “Timber Cafe”, Imphal
What’s so most special about “Timber Cafe”?
Timber strives to stand out by providing its customers with a feeling of friendliness and warmth along with good food and good service. Everything that is served, from meat to vegetables or even coffee, is prepared and served fresh. That is what we hope makes us special.
Timber’s yummy Prawn Noodle Soup.
Timber’s famous Mixed Double Layer Burger.
What is the most special thing on your menu?
We serve a wide variety of food ranging from something as common as momos to more hard-to-find items like Mexican tacos.
“From my many travels to different places, I have had the privilege to experience different types of food and have tried to incorporate all those into my own menu. Our most special item is possibly the Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll which rarely, if at all, is found at any other cafe in the state.”
“Our most special item is possibly the Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll which is hard to find in most cafes” Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll is a specialty at Timber Cafe.
Another special at Timber is its Mexican Tacos.
How do you manage to balance your work as a full-time photographer (and a sought-after one at that!) and run your cafe at the same time?
Admittedly, it’s not an easy task to juggle work as a full-time photographer and managing a venture. Managing a cafe requires and demands just as much time and energy. Very often, I find myself out of town on photography assignments. This can be stressful at times. But, I am thankful to have with me very capable and experienced staff who are able to run things smoothly in my absence.
“I am passionate about both photography and running the cafe so even in the most tiring situations, I can somehow find the energy and the enthusiasm to do both. I’ve learned that if you truly love doing something, you somehow manage to find time for it. Of course, it requires a lot of energy and sacrifice on your part but, in the end, it’s all worth it. That is how I have been able to balance both these passions of mine.”
Cooked and photographed with passion by Rashingam
Photograph by Rashingam – Owner of Timber Cafe, Imphal
Rashingam in action, as the chief photographer at a wedding.
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