Opened after the devastating earthquake, Roots Eatery is a place where you can feel the great heritage ambiance of Kathmandu along with mouth-watering foods in their menu.
Kathmandu Durbar Square can be considered as the most popular hub for people, whether they are Nepalese or foreigner. People often visit the area to roam around with their friends, to explore the heritage sites or just to grab a cup of tea or coffee in the evening. Apart from these, the restaurants around the area especially in Freak Street ‘Jochen’ are getting much more popular for people to enjoy and have good food. Among those restaurants, Roots Eatery might be a new kid on the block, but still offers a lot.
I got to know about Roots Eatery when Nabin Maharjan, owner of the restaurant, contacted me even though he was abroad. He told me he has opened this new venture and also mailed me the details and website address of the eatery. I instantly opened the website to check the story and specially the menu that it offers. I was surprised to see such modern and internationally influenced menu in such traditional and homely surroundings. Why such distinct parity between the menu and the environment? I had this question in my mind that I wanted to ask him upon our meet.
After some days prior to our conversation, we finally met at Roots Eatery. The whole area surrounding the eatery completely reflects the Newari society around it. Inside the eatery also, Nabin ji has portrayed the rich heritage of Newari style interior, whether it is the furniture, ceiling and even the door of the kitchen using recyclable materials. The whole ambiance of the eatery is quite and relaxing. One can sit indoors to enjoy the interior of the restaurant or can also sit outside to feel complete joy of being around a Newari society with a small stupa beside the eatery. Yes, there are many things about the eatery that makes it shine from its design, but the main question still remained.
Nabin ji served us with varieties of food from the menu which included Special Roots Coffee, Pancake with Bacon and Home Made Chili Sauce, House Green Salad, Buff Burger, Buff Chili Wrap, and all time favourite of Nepalese people, Momo. The whole serving was based for us to know the complete set of dishes from breakfast, appetizer, main course and popular dishes that Roots Eatery offers.
Starting with the Special Roots Coffee, it does make you feel special when you are served with one. The coffee has that cute Roots Eatery logo as a design and also adds a nutty flavor to the coffee. As for the breakfast dish, Pancake with Bacon and Home Made Chili Sauce was dished up to us. The pancake is a great mix with the coffee to make it a good breakfast dish. Whatever bacon is mixed with, it is always good. As for the Home Made Chili Sauce, it adds that zing spicy flavor to the dish and I kept on dipping the pancake in it. Upon asking what is in it, the chef gave a simple answer, it is a secret. Oh well, can’t argue with that. Next up was House Green Salad which was an appetizer. I am not a big fan of veggies but the salad was quite good. The salad has mix of local vegetables like beetroot, tomato, radish, spinach and onion seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and spices. It was quite refreshing and would recommend it to anyone who wants to freshen up after a tiring day at work or because of the weather.
It was time to bring up the mains and we began with Buff Burger. We don’t hear a lot about buff burger since buff and ham are considered the same. But in Roots Eatery, buff is buff. The burger was a complete yum! The patty of Buff Burger is completely made in the eatery itself and the special sauce just gives that all needed flavor to the whole burger. The fries, which are the always tied up with the burger are crispy and not soggy. Most of all, the plating of it is modern with using wooden plank as a plate, a cup to hold the fries and pace to keep the ketchup. The same was for Buff Chili Wrap as well. Everything was quite modern and the food was also good. After a hefty main course, we were compelled to try one more dish that is Momo. I was thinking that it was going to be same as it is served in other restaurants but was proven wrong. The plating of momo in a marble slate and the sauce was a delight to see.
After having a full stomach with such a distinct tasting, I finally got the answer on my own. Nabin ji having spent most of the time abroad, he learned and wanted to apply that modern style of plating in Nepal also. Hence, Roots Eatery gave him a broad opportunity to do so by combining modern menu with a heritage like environment of Ombahal. He wanted to do something for the community where he lives despite being abroad after the earthquake. This thinking of his has not only grabbed the attention of local people in that area, but also has been a major recommended place in TripAdvisor.