A main course at Thamel House Restaurant
Every Nepali meal that I had was a feast of colours and flavours. The fact that these restaurants are frequented by mostly locals made each experience even more interesting. Thakali Kitchen is a no-frills restaurant that serves affordable staples like daal bhaat and momo. It was here that I had my first Nepali dinner and a surprisingly good chilli relish to go with the steamed momos. Unlike Thakali, Thamel House Restaurant is grand, complete with a stage in the courtyard, which provides entertainment to the evening crowd, I think. I had the full-course lunch here and it was amazing. I love the rich Kalo Daal (lentil cooked in iron pot with heated purified butter and herbs). Just that and some sada bhuja (boiled basmati rice) will do for me. With side dishes like Khasi Ko Ledo (stewed mutton), Bandhel Tareko (boiled and sauteed wild boar with gelatinous layers of skin!) and Khukura ko Sekuwa (skewered, grilled chicken over charcoal) kept pouring into my large bronze plate, it was definitely worth the slightly more expensive pricetag. Oh, not forgetting the warm dessert of Shikarni (whipped yoghurt with nuts and cinnamon powder). Lunching at the family-run Mustang Thakal was an intimate affair. The kitchen was bustling, helmed by an old lady. I had the Mustang Thakali Chulo Special, which came with rice, daal bhaat, saag (boiled, sauteed mustard greens) and stewed pork, complete with cuts of the knuckle. The smiling staff made sure that everyone was well-fed and kept refilling the empty plates. Two full servings later, I had to decline a third. It was a challenge walking back to the hotel after that.
Fantastic chilli relish for the momos at Thakali Kitchen.
Tender pieces of stewed pork at Mustang Thakal.
Saag - mustard green appearing in every Nepali meal.
This is my last post on Kathmandu. It feels like I've not said enough about my short stay in this colourful city. There's still a story about a patriotic taxi driver, the impossible untangling of traffic congestion come the peak hours, getting lost in the maze of lanes and of course, food tales. But there's only so much that I can fit into January. Hopefully I'll do a better job the next time, when I visit the sacred lake of Gosainkund.
The sun sets in Thamel, Kathmandu.