Imagine a palatial hotel recently restored to its 13th century glory, full of priceless antiques from bygone civilizations, with service and elegance to match in the heart of exotic Kathmandu. Now imagine the hotel’s signature restaurant where you leave your shoes as you enter, and walk into another century and another world. The bold red and black décor of the dining room is stunning and the ambiance offers a very old-world Nepalese dining experience, from the authentic low-rise, over-sized chairs, to the flickering candlelight and traditional Nepali music playing softly in the background. You would be at the extraordinarily unique Krishnarpan Restaurant in Dwarika’s Hotel at an elevation of 4,600 feet, in the shadow of Mt. Everest. Simply awesome.
So now that you have a sense of the dramatic backdrop, do I have you salivating yet? The food prepared at Krishnarpan in the traditional Nepalese manner was delicious, all of it. I need to emphasize that the portions were not those of a tasting menu, which presented a daunting challenge in the face of most gracious waitresses who so very much wanted to please and were concerned, when we did not finish each and everything, that it was not to our liking. While Nepali cuisine bears many similarities to that of India, such as the essential inclusion of rice and dal (lentils) with dinner, in general, Nepali food is not as spicy and fiery as Indian food so often is.
The menu du jour was printed in both Nepalese and English on hand-made menus with our names personalized according to our passports. Pampering and personal touches are the hallmark of the Dwarika and they do it well. Here is the English version of our extraordinarily memorable meal …
The entire meal is served harmoniously, one course flows after another, so that you have enough time to appreciate the course you have just eaten before the next one arrives. The produce is all organic, and most comes from the Dwarika’s own garden. Dinner concludes with coffee and tea, including fresh mint tea with mint from their garden. We chose mint and ginger tea which was sublime. Dessert, it should be noted, according to the menu was supposed to be Fresh Yoghurt flavored with Cinnamon sweetened with Honey, Nepali Pumpkin Pudding, Cut Fresh Fruit – but we opted for the divine chocolate cake we had had the night before when we all of a sudden got a craving for chocolate and called room service for our chocolate fix (actually, I negotiated this change from the fixed menu prior to confirming our reservation at the Krishnarpan but this is all hush-hush).
Aside from the chocolate cake, our favorites from this 6 course menu were the second, third and fourth courses. The organic kidney bean curry was light with layers of flavor, the bread was also extremely light and full of flavor, the wild boar dumplings rivaled any we had eaten in China’s best restaurants, and the soup, comprised primarily of pureed green vegetables with the hint of sweetness from the corn was memorable.
But “memorable” describes the whole evening. When in Kathmandu, make sure to have dinner at Krishnarpan, and come with a hearty appetite!
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