The garden of the Summit Hotel has always seemed to me one of the most beautiful hotel gardens in the city, and now, in the peak of monsoon, it is even more vibrant, green and alive. While there is ample seating both indoors and under terraces, when we arrived the sun was shining so we opted to sit outside, overlooking the garden and Kathmandu far below. It was the perfect setting for the meal to come.
How’s the food?
We came to sample some dishes from the newly launched menu, which includes fresh options in addition to well-loved classics; Mr. Kaushal K. Singh, Director of Sales & Marketing, explained that the new menu is a result of a month-long special training.
It sounded wonderful and I couldn’t wait to dig in; to begin we had the Goat’s Cheese Salad. What a great start to the meal: lettuce dotted with clumps of creamy fresh goat’s cheese and crunchy caramelized cashew nuts, then topped with a dressing made of soaked dates finely chopped and mixed with a vinaigrette. The taste and textures of the date dressing and the nuts were a surprise and added something delicious and unique to the usual way I’ve had this salad. It comes with a basked of bread—fresh and varied, good to linger over.
We moved on to the Pan Grilled Himalayan Trout: super fresh, locally sourced trout, served whole and covered in a fresh zingy sauce studded with bright pistachios;so flavorful, and the fish cooked just right without a hint of dryness. This was served with several vegetables and couscous, a great alternative to the usual starch options and one that we don’t see often enough in restaurants.
The Chicken Sizzler is a dish that used to be on early Summit Hotel menus and I have to say, I’m awfully glad they brought it back. With sizzlers available in so many restaurants in the valley, you might be tempted to pass this one over, but you really shouldn’t; this is a sizzler elevated to fine dining. The large piece of chicken is first marinated in seasonings that include olive oil and Worcester sauce, then grilled to perfection—it was tender, succulent and juicy. The vegetables are lightly cooked and still vibrant and fresh, plus there’s a good helping of both pasta and thick-cut chips. It is served with a gravy boat so that you can add more as you like, which you will probably want to do, as the gravy is delicious. All of this adds up to a satisfying, tasty dish, with the chicken being the hero, as it should be. If you’re a sizzler fan, you owe it to yourself to try this one. I think you’ll be glad you did.
To end our meal we sampled two very different desserts—Chocolate Cake and Milk Tart. Both of these individual size desserts were beautifully presented; the chocolate cake, complete with gravity-defying chocolate sculpture atop it, is layered and light and would be a delight for any chocoholic. The Milk Tart is rich and creamy, with a sprinkle of nutmeg and a touch of mint. Tasty and very filling, I would recommend splitting one of these with your dining partner after a large meal like ours. One of these sweet dishes would also be quite excellent enjoyed on its own with an afternoon cup
of tea or coffee.
What would you like to drink with that?
In addition to varied alcohol options available from the bar, there’s also great coffee; and if you want something to bring the summer heat down, be sure to ask your waiter what the day’s choices of freshly squeezed juice are; they’re really refreshing and just the thing to quench your thirst during days like these
A few words with the chef:
Executive Chef Pasang Lama has been with the Summit for 26 years now; he certainly knows his food inside and out and was happy to explain cooking methods and ingredients in detail. This care and attention really shows through in the food that comes out of his kitchen.
In addition to the dishes we sampled, the chef also recommends the bruschette and the mezze platter, which comes with falafel, pita bread, baba ghanoush, humus and vegetables; both of these sound like great vegetarian options.
Décor & Vibe:
The Summit’s restaurant is tastefully decorated, both inside and out, with furnishings that are somehow both rustic and chic. The tile and slate adds clean lines and a cozy feel, and the use of local materials and fabrics in the décor highlights Nepal’s artistic culture. The well-tended, lush garden is also a decoration in its own right, somehow; while there I found my eyes constantly being drawn to it: the tree towering above us, pots of flowers blooming around us, a bird perching below us, and everywhere, everywhere, green!
Originally opened by the Dutch in 1980, this place has seen a lot in its many years of operation. Popular with locals, tourists and expats alike, the attention to detail, quality service, and great staff make it a place always worth coming back to. Special events are in the works for the coming weeks and months as well, like a Newari Food Festival.
So make some time this summer to relax amid greenery and enjoy some truly well made food in a great environment!
Summit Hotel is located at Kupondole Height, Patan; tel no: 5521810