7-13 June 2013 #659


Visit this restaurant for a taste of Western cuisine as seen through Japanese eyes
Someplace Else by Sulaiman Daud

Kathmandu boasts a dizzying array of international cuisine and if you look hard enough, you can find a restaurant offering dishes from nearly every corner of the globe. You can find Japanese cuisine and Western cuisine, but what if you want Japanese-style Western cuisine?


Yoshoku is a Japanese term referring to Western-inspired Japanese food that originated during the Meiji Restoration of the 1860s, when Nippon opened itself up to foreign trade. The result was a host of Western dishes, but with unmistakable Japanese influences, often served with sticky rice and miso soup. Yoshoku dishes also tend to be meat-based, supposedly from the Emperor’s declaration that meat was the source of Westerner’s superior physical strength.

Although such restaurants can be hard to find outside Japan, there is one yoshoku in Patan. Marronnier is situated in a side alley off Pulchok. Although well-hidden, the journey is worth it.

Set in the grounds of a large converted bungalow, with a fountain and garden outside, coming to the Marronnier feels like visiting a friend’s country house (a rich friend). The dining room itself is wood-floored and rather small with only about eight tables, but it adds to the cosy atmosphere. If you are bored and happen to read Japanese, there are a number of comic books, magazines, and novels to flip through while you wait for your order.

The Marronnier steak (Rs 450) is an excellent choice for a main course. Although portions are slightly smaller than usual, the meat was grilled to perfection. Eating steak with Japanese sticky rice was a new experience, but it made the meal more filling. The breaded shrimp (Rs 600) was also a good pick, with the fried shrimp bigger than one would normally expect. The saute chicken (Rs 460) was less satisfying as it was a little undercooked. However, the kitchen staff brought us another plate when we complained. All main courses come with salad, clear vegetable soup and either sticky rice or slices of bread, if you pay an extra Rs 120.

For dessert we ordered vanilla ice cream (Rs 170 for two scoops) and a Japanese style ice-cream butter sandwich (Rs 90), which really pleased our sweet tooth. The Marronnier also boasts clean bathrooms and a relaxed, quiet atmosphere away from the chaos of Pulchok. Visit today for a taste of Western cuisine as seen through Japanese eyes.

How to get there: Walk down Pulchok and turn right into Harihar Bhawan neighbourhood. You’ll find Marronnier on your left.

Read other reviews:

Cafe Cheeno

La Soon

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