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‘An unforgettable lunch in Ilulissat, Greendland’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

If you ask me which is the country that I would like to visit again and again, then my answer would be a prompt ‘Greenland’. I visited Greenland last year. I was in Illulisat for a few days. I know you would ask where is ‘Ilulissat’. So here is a rough map of the world showing Greenland and Ilulissat.


After a long boat ride about 300 kms inside the arctic circle, I had a free day and I just roamed around in Ilulissat. Soon it was around noon  and I started looking for an inexpensive place to eat.

I went to a little restaurant specializing in Chinese food and ordered for fried fish, which was on their menu. Sorry, said the man taking the order, fresh fish has not yet arrived today, so please come after an hour or so. We have fish in the refrigerator but we would like you to taste fresh fish, he added. I was taken aback by the candidness, and goodness of the person. I thanked him and went out and looked around for some other restaurant.

I asked someone and he advised me to go to ‘Inuit Cafe’. The food there is good and inexpensive, I was informed. The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indeginous people inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, the United States and Russia. p1390461-450-80-jpg

I followed the directions and soon spotted a building with a board Inuit Cafe’.

inuit-cafe_003 trip advisor 450 90The graceful lady owner of Inuit Cafe’. (Source of this photo- Tripadvisor)

I went inside and found an old couple, of around my age, talking to the lady at the counter. I waited for my turn. When my turn came I said hello to the lady and looked at her. And she looked back at me. She was the first to speak. You seem to be from my part of the world, she said cheerily. Yes Indian, I replied  and ‘Are you also an Indian’, was my counter question. I am from Sri Lanka, she said with a sense of pride. And then we talked.

I told her that I would like to take Greenland’s fish. OK she said but what else, she asked. You suggest, I put it back on her. I can give you some boiled rice, she said. Yes that would be great, said I. But that would be all dry, she added. Hmmmm said I. I can give you some ‘daal’ she said happily. Now it was my turn to be happy. Imagine getting a rice and ‘daal’ meal in Greenland.

By the time I went and took a seat in the verandah which was sunny, the old couple had left. I was then the only customer in the Cafe’.

Soon a young Sri Lankan gentleman came to take order. Beer, I said and he responded Carlsburg?. No I said, something brewed in Greenland. He uttered a name which I could not follow but I nodded and said yes.


Statutory warning: Consume alcohol in moderation.

He soon reappeared with a bottle of beer and a glass. I asked him how long had he been in Greenland. Oh hardly a month, I am a relative of the lady owner and I am just visiting.

It was Godthaab Moskus (Umimak Baja) beer brewed by Godthab Bryghus. It is a golden/blond ale and is breewed in Nuk, the capital city of Greenland. The beer was nice but I would not call it the best beer that I have had.

Soon the lunch was served. Take a look.



But the best was the ‘daal-bhat.’

 After 2-3 minutes a young girl, who would have just entered her teens, came and wished me and put a small bowl with chopped green chillies and red chilly powder and said, ‘Mummy said you might like this’.


The fish was fresh, soft and just melted in the mouth. It was steamed and no oil appeared to have been used. But the best was the ‘daal-bhat’.

I finished and went to the Reception to pay. The young girl was at the counter. I paid and then said ‘Can I say thank you to your mother’? She is having her lunch said the young girl. OK don’t disturb her just convey my sincere thanks said I and left.

It is only when I was stepping out of the restaurant that the truth dawned on me. Boiled rice and ‘daal’ were not a part of the restaurant food. The lady owner had shared those from the meal she had cooked for herself and her family!

p1390452-450-80-jpgWith a little lump in my throat, I took a last look at that Cafe’ where I had a really unforgettable and sincerely affectionate meal and started walking towards my hotel.

Photos, text & copyright K.J.S.Chatrath.

IMPORTANT: This website does not sell any hotel rooms/air tickets/packages/insurance cover etc.  It is intended only for providing information to the Fifty+/younger travellers and sharing of travel experiences. The above information is being shared only for the convenience of the readers who are advised to double check the information and satisfy themselves before taking any decision.

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2 Responses to “‘An unforgettable lunch in Ilulissat, Greendland’ by K.J.S.Chatrath”

  1. Puneet Kapoor says:

    Nice write up…..I would love to visit this part of the world !

  2. DV Bhatia says:

    Great! Aise rare experiences lucky few ko hee milte hain.


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