So you find yourself in Kathmandu after a hard trek and you are fed up of rice and lentils, had enough of noodles or just perhaps a bit home sick. You may be craving some simple steamed vegetables or a crisp salad but you have no idea where to start looking, well I’m here to shed some light on the hidden treasures of Kathmandu’s culinary delights.
One doubts that there are many people in this world that travel and don’t crave pizza from time to time. At one stage you could not get a decent pizza in Nepal, nowadays there are a host of restaurants that make pretty dam good wood fired pizza’s, in fact, dare I say better than we can get at home!! But like all good things in life, there is a price. Pizza’s range from 300 to 550 rupees depending on the toppings! The best place to get pizza is Fire and Ice which somewhat of an institution in Thamel. A great place to relive the highlights of your trek with friends, while enjoying a delicious pizza and beverage of choice.
A hearty dish of fresh handmade pasta will always satisfy any appetite. On those cold winter days, head to La Dolca Vita. Three floors of well decorated dining rooms and an alfresco style roof top terrace invites the diner in for a pasta feast. Serving sizes are generous and delicious. My personal favourite is the handmade Gnocchi del la Rossa (Gnocchi in a red wine and tomato sauce). Here the salads and pizza are also really good. Finish your meal off with a Lavatzza Italian Style Imported coffee.
For the carnivores out there, we all crave that big juicy hunk of red meat. For those familiar with Hindu Culture, it’s against custom to eat beef, so most red meat product in Nepal is in fact Buffalo meat, slightly more textural and chewy than a good lean beef steak. Everest Steak house, found both in Thamel and Lake side Pokhara, serves up the best steak this side of New Orleans. You can order real imported beef steak, rib eye, eye fillet or sirloin, cooked to your liking and served with a side of French fries and steamed vegetables. A meal at The Everest Steak House will set you back around 600NPR including drinks and tax.
Get your taste buds singing with some amazing sushi at a little restaurant called Momo Taru. Tucked away at the top end of Thamel, this gem of a restaurant is managed by professional Nepalese staff in partnership with an elderly Japanese couple. Many of the ingredients are flown in from Japan, including the seafood. The food is AMAZING and a great tasting healthy meal here is not going to break the bank either. Around 400NPR will see you with a nice plate of Maki Sushi, a Ramen noodle dish, unlimited tea, miso soup, a selection of pickles and perhaps a chilled Ashi Beer. The atmosphere is cosy with a choice of table or cushion seating and the staff are super friendly and speak English and Japanese.
A CHOCOLATE HIT
So we have all been there, after a nice meal we still feel a tad unsatisfied and out taste buds are craving that sugar hit. Kathmandu may offer some great international cuisine but it not really known for desserts. Alas, allow me to let you in on a little secret – Try the absolutely amazingly delicious sizzling chocolate brownie at Road House….did I mention it’s amazing. Add a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream and you will surely be in chocoholic’s heaven!
Ever seen the movie Ratatouille, the scene when the critic cries as the meal gives him a memory of his mothers cooking! We all get that home sick feeling sometimes, and food can give us real comfort when we need it. Head on to Northfield Cafe, the beef stroganoff served with mashed potatoes is the dish that almost brings me to my knees crying for my mum……right down to the lashing of cream and hint of rosemary. It is the perfect dish to help me over the homesick blues. Other home comfort delights on their menu include Sheppard’s pie and everyone’s favourite bangers and mash!
So there you go, though the local food in Nepal is GREAT, we all need our home comforts from time to time. I hope this helps you to fill that hole in your stomach with something other than Dhal Bhart Tarkuri. Happy eating…