Located in the heart of Thamel, and established in 1989, the Third Eye Restaurant has been a landmark for over two decades. It has been serving authentic Indian and Continental cuisine for 27 years now, so it is definitely safe to say that they know best on what they are doing. The culture of dining out, or simply enjoying an afternoon or evening with friends, has been made easier in the Third Eye due to the availability of ample space, with capacity for around 265 people at a time. The restaurant stands tall, with three floors and a roof top terrace. Its specialty is not only limited to its food; customers are especially pleased with the way that it has retained something of the old Kathmandu atmosphere. The furniture, the design, and the entire ambience has been perfectly preserved, even after decades of its initial establishment. Some of the staff have been with them since the early days, which further helps to make the taste bonafide. The food is delectable, the service is delightful, and the aura is captivating. All in all, the Third Eye Restaurant is a must-visit place when you’re in Thamel, and even if you are not.
Amongst the many, equally delicious choices, we finally came to a decision and narrowed it down to three mouthwatering dishes. We had the Stuffed Chicken Breast first, a perfect blend of chicken and cheese. If you are a fan of creamy cheese, then this will have to be the first dish that you choose. The cheese melts with one bite, and the burst of flavors is unimaginable. The deep-fried chicken breast had a crumbled layering,and was served with buttered vegetables. The mashed potatoes were ‘a cherry on top’, and the whole dish was perfectly tied together. We were told that this particular dish
was one-of-a-kind, and that it was made only at Third Eye. After feasting on it, we were not sure if there could be any other dish better than this, but we had to put a hold on that thought as the waiter brought in the next dish.
Fish Mamtaj, the name itself was captivating for us. Staying true to its name, the dish was definitely among the best. The distinctive thing about it was that it not only was just fish, but was fish stuffed with boiled egg. With every bite, the crunchiness of the fish complemented the softness of the boiled egg inside. The golden deep-fried and stuffed fish was served with rich saffron sauce that was adequate enough to be eaten with the side rice and salad. As a whole, Fish Mamtaj added up to be the perfect dish to be eaten either at lunch or dinner. Also, it is worth noting that Fish Mamtaj is one of the ‘Chef’s Specials’ which is all the more reason not to miss it.
The devouring of dishes was still not complete. Last, but definitely not the least, Chicken Alishan Kebab was served to us. Alishan, meaning glorious and honorable: the kebab was just it. The tender chicken was marinated in cream cheese, which is something that you do not get at any other place. Because of the cheese, the taste stayed distinct, and is bound to remain in our mind for a long time. The traditional spices used made it even more glorious! The dish was bursting with rich Indian spices and had that ‘tadka’ to it. There were many more different kebabs to choose from, but for us the unique addition to its name definitely stood out. The kebab came with naan that were perfectly cut and very soft textured. The naan was one of the most popular items at Third Eye, and we could see why. Eaten with the kebab, and dipped in ‘pudina’ sauce, it made the whole dish stand out and balance perfectly.
After full stomachs and happy faces, we got to chat more with the executive director,Mr. Ritez N. Shrestha, and the chef, Mr. Bikram Shrestha. It honestly did not feel like work to us, as both of them were very welcoming, and the whole conversation went with laughs and nothing else. Mr. Ritez was kind enough to let us know about his restaurant and how it all came to be. When you are at Third Eye the next time, make sure to really spend time looking at the décor, which respects Nepali history, with addition of touches that complement the style of food. Also, a tip, look closely at the menu and the intricate border that it has, you might be amazed at what you find. The food, the vibe, and the staff were some of the many things that made me want to visit the place again, not as a critic or a reporter, but as a loyal customer.