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Hungry Eye – Jardin, Jhamel

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
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Nepalikukur

Off Jhamel’s ‘restaurant lane’, Jardin is one of a flotilla of upmarket eateries that have mushroomed this side of the river in the last year. One could easily conclude that Jhamel is saturated with expensive restaurants offering generalised menus of oriental and continental fare, something in vaguely interesting combinations, with an insurance snack menu of momos and chicken chilli for the resolute Nepali beer monsters. Jardin contrives to keep its head above the masses with more cultivated fare, with a degree of success.

Jardin has taken some care in designing its outdoor and indoor spaces, soft furnishings, lights, greenery and all. So far, so Jhamel. It was a deserted Tuesday night, and we enjoyed prompt and attentive service. I don’t doubt the alfresco spaces will fill up come summer, by which time I hope they will still be serving the excellent Coblenzer beer.

We joined friends who were already a couple of starters in. They described the Smoked Salmon Rosettes with Wasabi-infused Pannacotta and Soy Mirin Dressing, and the Rock Shrimp tossed in Spicy Mayonnaise as excellent. So we ordered the Tofu Pouches with house hot sauce and the Crackling Calamari with Smoked Chilli Aioli and Pickled Cucumbers. The former was a little insipid (compared to the last time), and could have benefitted from a more generous lashing of the spicy sauce. The calamari looked good, and felt crunchy and juicy, even if some may have found it a bit heavy as a starter.

Onwards, and with three of us plumping for Hot and Sour Thai Salad with Roasted Rice and Crispy Onions, Jardin had a lot running on its reception. Personally I found the salads attractive and scrumptious, but gasps of ‘Piro! Piro!’ from around the table forced me to add an advisory for the feeble. I’d order one as a starter rather than an entrĂ©e. But the Japanese-style Steak with Wasabi Mash, Salsa Verde, Ponzu and Himalayan Salt was not to be faulted. The good-sized portions of meat were medium-done to perfection, and the dish combined well. The Roast Duck salad with Orange segments and Lychee tossed in Nam Jim sauce was exciting enough, but maybe it went a lychee too far. Dessert was a mixed dish; the chocolate fondant with vanilla icecream disappeared in a jiffy, the fresh fruit millefeuille fell flat.

A good variation on the Jhamel scene, if on the pricey side; don’t let the bill catch you by surprise!

Thadodhunga, Jhamsikhel. Keep going at the end of Jhamel’s ‘Restaurant Lane’, pass Ideal Model School on left, turn right, on left.

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