When you’re living in a new city, thousands of miles away from your family, it is so precious to find a piece of home in a little corner booth — somewhere that welcomes you with open arms. Picture an orange door standing before you with a “Welcome Home, Blue Jays!” poster taped on the front.
How fitting, you think as you enter. Homemade paintings of butterflies and landscapes adorn the colorful green and orange walls, swirly stems of bamboo rest in pots on the counter and your mom’s favorite old artists sing to you from above. The staff greet you with a gentle smile of recognition, and the signature rich aroma of your favorite comfort food wafts out of the kitchen towards the door like they were expecting you. This is the Sakoon experience for students across campus, and we are so fortunate to have it right next to us.
Sakoon is like this alternate dimension where everyone is kind and leaves with their hearts and tummies full. Its name, “Sakoon,” which means peace or contentment, suits it so perfectly. The main chef frequently peeks his head out of the kitchen, apron smeared with love and turmeric, to say hello to all of the customers. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone leave without a fist bump from the owner. I often think back to the South Asian Students at Hopkins formal with fond memories of the owner dancing with us in the center of the floor, as we celebrated a night of good food and good friends.
Like a true good friend, Sakoon has been there for us not just in our happy times but in our worst times as well. Last year, right after getting on campus, my friend got really sick. In her family’s culture, kichadi is usually made when someone isn’t feeling well. Her dad went to Sakoon, and after learning that they didn’t serve kichadi on their menu, he asked the head chef to still make it so he could take some home to his daughter. Not twenty minutes later, he was rushing back with a heaping tray of steaming kichadi, and Sakoon has been her favorite ever since.
Honestly, it’s my favorite too. Their butter chicken is rich and vibrant, served with a dollop of malai and fresh cilantro. The garlic naan is a testament to their generosity, gleaming with butter and gorgeous amounts of grated garlic. Their mango lassi is all things certain and sunshine and worth every penny. They have everything Indo-Chinese, from spring rolls to momos to pakoras, and nothing disappoints. Just one meal at Sakoon can heal a week’s worth of hit points.
I hope everyone that goes to Sakoon falls deeply in love with it and I hope that if you love someone, you take them to Sakoon.