A list of some of Kathmandu's popular restaurants along with their blockade menu
If there is any group in Kathmandu that copes particularly well with crises, it is the city’s restaurants. Even a month after India imposed a blockade, the vast majority of them were open, many offering the entirety of their menus. Before Dasain, the popular food delivery service, Foodmandu, was still on the go, delivering morsels to nervous customers who had run out of gas.
But even these undaunted fighters are now in a pickle. A stroll through Pulchok and Jhamel, which pullulate with restaurants, quickly reveals the severity of the situation. Most restaurants have their shutters down.
Others are offering special ‘Blockade Menus’ consisting of a few popular dishes, typically momos and noodles. Foodmandu now delivers food within restricted hours.
Such eerie emptiness in the cafes was seen only in the days that followed April’s devastating earthquake.
“Business has definitely gone down,” says Vivek Sharma, manager of Annapurna Café in Patan. “The only reason we’re open is that this is an office area, so some people still come.” The cafe offers vegetarian momos and chats only, cooked in firewood.
The owner of a café in Mangalbajar that sells mostly burgers told us he has been paying Rs 7,000 for a cylinder of gas. Luxury hotels are willing to pay still more: up to Rs 25,000 for a cylinder. And they are still managing. This week, instead of doing our regular food review, Nepali Times presents a list of some of Kathmandu’s popular restaurants along with what they are offering.
Fire and Ice
This popular eatery is on full throttle since its pizza ovens are electric, and the other ingredients like pasta sauces are hand-prepared. On Monday evening, the tables were all packed and there was a queue outside.
The whole menu is available.
Krishna Galli, Lalitpur
The café offers a Blockade Menu which includes, thankfully, its famed jhol momo and a variety of salads.
Once you arrive here, the waiter ruefully tells you that the Blockade Menu includes “only” pizzas and salads. Which is a lot!
Boudha, Bhat Bhateni, Jhamsikhel, Thamel
The Bakery Café
This popular eatery is offering almost the entire menu.
Boudha, Bhat Bhateni, Dharahara, Jawalakhel, Maharajgunj, New Baneshwor, Pulchok, Teendhara, Teku
Ghar-e-Kebab also has a temporary Blockade Menu which includes chicken tikka, naan and sheesh kebabs.
Hotel Annapurna, Darbarmarg
The Blockade Menu includes all the popular items, including the momos which are cooked in briquette stoves. Yes, the bakery is up and running and you can have the cakes too.
Tasneem’s Kings Kitchen
Tasneem’s is one of the few restaurants in town that are offering the whole menu. The prices of the dishes have been slightly increased, though.
A blockade is a blockade, Tsering Dolker Gurung