The city was a furnace the afternoon I drove my cravings to the most repetitive address in my recent discourses on culinary adventures with my friends. Nestled in a quiet place away from the bustle of the city, in a cottage with an ornate garden, Lhakpa’s Chulo was exactly what I had imagined it to be.

I made my way through the stony patches and strolled around to check out the seating arrangement. I eventually decided to occupy the cane sitting on the verandah upstairs. I was glad that I did as the view of the greenery all around was more than rewarding. My first time at any ‘eat-out’ is made even more difficult by my friends who usually recommend me a nice place to go to, but they never tell me about the food. So, when the menu arrived on my table at Lhakpa’s Chulo, I had to devote quite some time to study it first.

I have always been curious about the dubbed role of appetizers when food, by law of nature, is supposed to quench one’s appetite. However, I learnt from my Salmon Salad that a pair of magical hands could very well reverse the law. Baby-pink strips of salmon done to perfection and dipped in a luscious transparent syrupy dressing accentuated by an artistic arrangement of leaves and oblong slices of seeded tomatoes stared back at me as I gazed at them in awe. My advice: Save the warm slices of brown bread until you’re done with knife and fork – they are the handiest tools to mop up the lemon-dill dressing with.

5 Ws

Where’s it located?
Jawalakhel, take the small laneopposite Roadhouse Café.

What to wear?
I prescribe no dress code.
Why drop in?
Anything that is served comes with some kind of sauce or
the other.
When to visit?
lunch time. My friends recommenddinner as well.
How much to carry?
A treat for two teetotaler souls comes at two grand and a half.

A student of economics might be able interpret your opinion on the Chicken meatballs. But even if you leave arithmetic back home, the utility value of your relish remains the same for any amount consumed. Simply put, the quantity of meatballs at the eatery might appear to be very miserly, but their taste is sheer delight. The ginger-garlic combination dominates the mild spices, and the fresh coriander complements the juicy texture of the meatballs. The sweet garlic sauce gives the final punch.

The home fries are humble, to say the least – chunky, golden brown and seasoned with salt crystals. Although they come with a helping of ketchup and are consumed as ‘sides’ normally, I recommend having them with Nepali tea. The Nepali tea at Lhakpa’s is aromatic, abundantly spiced and mildly sweet. It’s served in a “Made in Nepal” cup and saucer.

Chicken momos here come with a clear soup garnished with roughly chopped coriander plus two different sauces, each worked on extensively. The chili-timbur sauce not only makes for a perfect dipping for the momos but also serves as a fabulous seasoning for the soup. The tomato-sesame sauce has a rough texture and its flavorful taste makes for a brilliant dipping. The momos themselves are medium-sized, mildly spiced, adequately juicy and tasteful. I couldn’t make anything of the chunks of salad vegetables and leaves on the side of the plate though. As for the clear soup, I consumed it in multiple ways – drank it clear first, then seasoned it with the chili-timbur sauce before sipping it, and finally threw in some momos in it and ate them with, you guessed it, a spoon.

My Verdict
Although only recently opened, Lhakpa’s Chulo is a remnant of yesteryear Kathmandu hospitality as the bottled drinking water is free and the food is good. The service they provide depends on your expectations – that is, they don’t pester you if you don’t want them to and they even walk your kids around if you ask them to. The perennial garden with pots of seasonal flowers makes for both a solo hideaway as well as a pleasant meal accompanied by someone worth striking a conversation with. !
 

Furnishings   love the diversity, prefer the cane furnishing
Inside outside   fresh and clean throughout
Cutlery   A break from the regular white porcelain, I loved thenapkin holder
Service   you mind your business, they mind theirs
Restroom   Make sure to use the one downstairs
My rating   Going back there again for sure