3-9 July 2015 #765

The Third Eye

You should keep it on your radar for future dinner dates, particularly business-related ones
Someplace Else by Peregrine Frissell

The Third Eye, a trendy Indian and continental restaurant in Thamel, exudes a confidence that is fitting of its name. From its ambitious low-season remodeling plans to its Wi-Fi password (“since1989”), this is a dinner date possibility with an injection of locally-manufactured swagger to keep in your back pocket.

At three stories tall, the restaurant is no hole-in-the-wall. Amongst its floors include two large dining rooms, a comfortable indoor smoking room, group dining room that can be reserved for parties, and rooftop adorned with well-watered blooming flora. The rooftop has no cover, but that’s ok. Filled with traditional lanterns and beautiful mahogany bars, the lower floors would be a wonderful way to weather any rainstorm.


Despite the vast size of the establishment, service is excellent.The menu is mid-sized but basic, with recommendations from the wait staff circling around popular choices such as the Chicken Tandoori and Chicken Tikka Masala.

The lack of a happy hour deal on beverages is somewhat made up for by as good a beer selection as you will find in the area alongside a cocktail menu that allows you to substitute domestic spirits to save some rupees and contribute to the local economy as well.

The dishes average a good 100-200 rupees more than what you’ll pay for the same thing at other nearby Indian places. There is also a crippling 10 percent service charge and a 13 per cent VAT tacked on to your bill at the end.

The true gem of our meal was the Bharwan Kulcha (Rs 195). This bready flour-based flatbread is stuffed with spicy cottage cheese, potato, and spices. Best of all, it is cooked fresh to order and comes steaming in a basket. It’s nice and thick, and as such remained warm and soft throughout our meal. It pairs excellently with the Mixed Vegetable Korma (Rs 505), which is beautifully seasoned. The vegetables were a bit unevenly cooked, but that were carefully rendered so as to not overpower the cashew nut gravy and also allow you to maintain full appreciation for the quality of the Bharwan Kulcha.

The Chicken Tikka Masala (Rs 575) was a bit rich for our taste. The chicken was tender and boneless as claimed, but the nuanced taste of the spices was lost in the pervasive power of the tomato sauce. We tried it with the Third Eye Special Naan (Rs 215), which was covered in roasted nuts for a robust and filling accompaniment, but wasn’t as fresh as it could have been.

The pot of green tea (Rs 170) we ordered was not strong, but had a delicious, deep flavour. The complementary poppadum with mango chutney was a nice addition, and made us feel a little better about that inflated bill.

The final prognosis? No need to rush out, though you should keep it on your radar for future dinner dates particularly business-related ones. This is partly because they are taking some time in the coming two months to remodel their (admittedly huge) kitchen. They plan to reopen beginning of September and serve better food than ever. That’s good, because just a tad more quality on that end and this could become a juggernaut well worth the price in Thamel.

Peregrine Frissell

How to get there: Walk south from Kathmandu Guesthouse and The Third Eye is located on your right, opposite Roadhouse Café.

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