While Newa de Café in Thamel 'elevates the local', Tama has it streamlined. The casual, clean-cut joint does fast food without the in-and-out pacing typical of fast food chains. Black tied waiters are at your beck and call, and a glass divide reveals an orderly kitchen of white toques in full gear. Comfortable booths are available for seating as well as the Nepali convention of floor style dining.
Pakoras are usually disappointing or average. The batter is often too doughy like a fritter or too light like tempura. But Tama's pakoras, particularly its cheese variation, strike the perfect balance.
The chicken tandoori is impeccably cooked and matches well with an order of sweet Peshwari naan. For vegetarians the palak paneer may seem ordinary. But Tama isn't about nouvelle cuisine; it's about quality. Unlike standard palak paneer, Tama's paneer is thinly sliced and seared for flavour.
For beverages, a glass of real juice like mango, guava or lychee seals the deal. For dessert, head elsewhere. Remarkably, prices are as local as the cuisine and are not affected by the packaging. The only possible drawback makes for a more or less 'authentic experience' and could only bother an illiterate expat or tourist. Tama spells out half (arguably the more interesting half) of its menu in Nepali, which a waiter would be more than happy to translate.
From the Narayanhiti Museum pass the Sunrise Bank in Gairdihara, cross the intersection and stay right