On Friday, August17, 2018, Park Village Resort in Budhanilkantha hosted a ramen-tasting event with the KGH group’s new partners, Hokkaido Nepal Pvt. Ltd. A well-respected young Japanese chef flew into Kathmandu for the event and spoke of his background and love of ramen—his passion for this well-loved dish has translated into a chain of ramen shops which are a big hit in Japan. In January 2019, Hokkaido Nepal Pvt. Ltd. will be opening their first ramen shop on the Park Village Resort premises, and the plan is for more to follow.
Members of the Japanese expatriate community in Kathmandu, the recently crowned winners of Miss Nepal Tourism, and representatives from the major media organizations were invited that evening to sample the specially prepared dishes.
We began with a selection of delicious appetizers: vegetables, fried chicken, and pork tempura, which though certainly tasty, was not something I’d associated with Japanese food before, and even after online research I couldn’t find any mention of it. Had the Japanese chefs invented it for us, we wondered? No matter its origins, it was all delicious—the fried chicken being especially amazing—and paired well with our chilled drinks and the lovely evening atmosphere.
With the volume of snack-able dishes, we had to remind ourselves to leave room for the star of the show: the handmade ramen. I’ve not had the pleasure of eating ramen in Japan (not yet, but it’s on my list!), but this was truly one of the best bowls of ramen I’ve ever had. And, as a matter of fact, one of the dining companions at my table had spent several years in Japan and was delighted by the authenticity, which I took as a good sign. A deep broth filled with that rich umami flavor, topped with generous slices of juicy pork and a boiled egg. The noodles were tasty, too, with good bite, and were a different shape than other ramen I’ve had—they seem to be typical of this particular Japanese chef.
It was a wonderful meal in pitch perfect taste, from the food to the excellent service; I drained my bowl of the last of the broth and my only regret is that I’ll have to wait till January to eat this again. Then again, January is a chilly month—just imagine how good a bowl of rich noodle soup will taste during those winter days! I’ll add it to my list of cold-weather things to look forward to. If they keep up this level of quality, this will be a welcome and worthy addition to the city’s list of top Japanese restaurants. I’m making a note in my calendar right now…