15-21 August 2014 #720

Gokarna Forest Resort

Someplace Else by Ruby Tuesday

The resort is gorgeous. There are no two ways about it. You cannot beat its pristine lush surroundings, the rolling golf greens, the tiny trails that disappear into the woods hinting at to- be-discovered wonders just waiting around the corner.

Just a twenty minute drive away from the city, the Gokarna Resort is a numinous paradise, thick with century old trees rustling out words of wisdom to those who linger and listen. It is the kind of environs that brings out the poet in you, slows your breathing and encourages meditation and reflection. All this in the deluxe settings of a five star resort complete with multiple dining outlets, a spectacular 18 hole golf course, spa and Kathmandu’s only indoor temperature controlled swimming pool. And it is in the pool area that I spent most of my Sunday afternoon and also had lunch.

PICS: RUBY TUESDAY

The other times I’ve been to Gokarna have been for the Saturday brunches and weddings and other assorted events and I realised I’d only ever eaten their lavish buffets. And they have always been excellent. Sadly the same can’t be said for my meal this time round.

Dining with seven year old boys meant our orders were limited to French fries, burgers, pasta, steak, fish and momos and I admit that my review does not cover the entire scope and range of the very extensive menu that the resort offers, but for an organisation that avers to serve ‘multi-cuisine known for its consistence quality’, it falls miserably short of its tall claims.

The French fries, and I judge every restaurant by the quality of the ubiquitous fried potatoes they serve, were soggy and droopy. The Gokarna Veggie (Rs 375) had a chunky clumsy patty in a bun that disintegrated rapidly. These basic simple elements that can make or break a meal. I don’t care if you’ve sourced the finest linen or served the food in plates crafted in the south of France. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when I say I want my burger to stay put when I take a bite of it.

The fish and chips served with aioli (Rs 650) was squelchy, oil-logged and flavorless. The chicken momos they got right, thankfully, and the spicy chili sauce they served with it was rather delicious. The sauce added the right amount of kick to the otherwise adequate, but not great, Chicken Lasagna (Rs 450). I had to flirt with the waiter to get me bread, which I think is ridiculous because which half-decent eatery doesn’t serve bread to sop up the meat sauce with?

The Dijon steak (Rs 650) was not marinated in mustard as was promised on the menu, but instead came with a condiment serving of mustard sauce, of the store-bought, mass-produced, bottled variety found at every supermarket in the valley. Of the homemade potato (and I love jacket baked potatoes), let us just say I now know what arid tastes like.

Our favourite thing about the meal was the chocolate milk-shakes (Rs 250) we had- thick, rich and cold- a glass full of deliciousness. I don’t know whether it was just a bad day at the kitchen, but it was a disappointing meal, especially since the resort is so gorgeous. Oh wait, I said that already, didn’t I?

How to get there: The gorgeous Gokarna Forest Resort is a 10km drive from Kathmandu’s airport and is located inside the Gokarna Forest Reserve in Thali.

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