Nepali Times


The newest entrant to the Valley's vibrant dining scene has a lot going for it. Situated as it is in the large inner courtyard of Babar Mahal Revisited, the location imbues it with historic aestheticism, old world charm, and a certain elegance. Its decor relies heavily on dark wood and ambient lighting, and creates creating a space that is snug and warm, yet chic.


It is said that love is in the details and this is certainly true of Mulchowk. The glassware has been flown in from as far away as Slovakia. Its single malt collection is among the finest in the country. The coffee served is has been washed with Himalayan springwater and roasted in Britain. The meat served is exclusively from Nina and Hager, say the folks, to maintain hygiene and quality standards.

And while it may sound like Mulchowk is intimidating or overly expensive, nothing could be further from the truth. This is largely due to the young entrepreneurs, who own this place, wanted to create a classy fine-dining area where they could loosen their ties and indulge in good times with family and friends.

As regular foodies in Kathmandu know, the nicest places often serve the most disappointing food. Here, the Greek salad (Rs 290) had lettuce, tomatoes and onions with barely three chunks of feta and an even measlier helping of olives, which did not bode well for the rest of the meal. The essence of tomato with vodka reduction (Rs 250) sounded experimental and inventive, ultimately it turned out to be plain ol' tomato soup in camouflage. Freshly made tomato soup, yes, but nothing, nothing justifies bequeathing it a name as fancy as that. Also the toast could have been served with butter and freshly ground pepper instead of the store-bought variety. It must be about the details in the
food too.

The tenderloin steak (Rs 750) somehow managed to cajole us because the steak, though a tad dry, was well seasoned and grilled. But what saved our evening was the fish steak with lemon butter sauce (Rs 450). It was, in a word, delicious. Soft, succulent, flaky, and heaving of flavours, everything was finally right. The mashed potatoes served with pureed eggplant were an epicurean delight.

We ended our meal with the raspberry cheesecake with chocolate sauce, and what can I say except that Mulchowk had redeemed itself in our eyes. We walked in as skeptics and walked out as fans. I've been told that the slow cooked lamb shanks are said to be a life changing experience, and I can't wait to return and sample those and more.

Being so new, Mulchowk does have a few kinks to iron out, but these minor hassles should easily be resolved. The staff is polite, well-trained, and extremely personable. The wash room is squeaking clean (a rarity in Kathmandu), and the whisky collection is outstanding. I predict that Mulchowk will not only be around for a long, long time to come, but also become very popular among Kathmandu's food loving fraternity.

How to get there: in Babar Mahal Revisited, Mulchowk is in the inner courtyard near Faces Beauty Salon and Pasal.

1. Carl
"The coffee served ... has been washed with Himalayan springwater and roasted in Britain."

Excuse me? Would I be correct as well to assume the meat has been hunted by Tibetan Khampas at the foot of Kailash , cured over South Tyrolean conifers, and stored in French Verdon caves?

2. NBS
"..Himalayan springwater and roasted in Britain."
 That is too bad. The only coffee I drink is the one picked and roasted in Brazil and flown overnight to Kathmandu. Since there is no water to be had in Kathmandu tap, one has to make do with coffee ( I am sure the cake eating French of 1780s - who could not afford bread - would understand.)

3. Nothing Doing
Ah, a food review without beef and already two comments within two days. Clearly, Ruby Tuesday has got the pot stirring.

4. English Angel
I have tried this coffee at a cafe in London. I think they are called Royal Himalayan Coffee. I met the owner and found out that they really take the processing and roasting of their coffee very seriously. For me the taste also delivered and moreover I also met Jude law at their cafe enjoying their coffee. Great Coffee and Jude law what more do I want. 

5. Ramkrishna
Wow! For real? Is this review based on actual food or your twisted fantasy? I must agree with everything Carl, the commenter above, said about Himalayan spring water and the coffee roasted in "Britain." You gotta be kidding me. Lastly, @Nothing Doing - what's your point, dude? If "Tenderloin Steak" isn't beef, then what the heck is it? Chicken?

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(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)