When they ran a cover on Black Pepper, I wished to run an undercover. So I did with a twist of socialization.

I’d read somewhere that Man-date is the mandate, so I caught up with a mate for an evening of mensip (what men do for a gossip). We drove into the compounds and readily accepted the hospitality of the security staff who kindly ushered us through the entrance guarded by cart-wheels into an ante-chamber sort of space that lead to enclosed quarters to the left, a small bar right in front, a shade with snug couches to the right and an open outdoor space with an inviting wood-fire on a drum. The service staff made us feel like gentlemen as they guided us through the traditional architecture in helping us find a comfortable seating.

Winter as it is, we kicked off the evening with Hot Rum Punch. I don’t talk about drinks, sorry, so you have to find it for yourself how it was. You wouldn’t regret it though. In came our drinks with complimentary peanuts. My friend had Mustang Fried Potatoes to keep company to his vodka. The potatoes were not at all oily, slightly spiced with a hint of strong timboor, and were properly cooked. Not a rare find but food done well.
 

5 Ws

Where’s it located?
sanepa, past british school
What to wear?
Avoid casuals
Why drop in?
Good food
When to visit?
i recommend dinners
How much to carry?
Three elephants fetch a fi vecourse meal for two with taxes.

The dinner started with the Goat Cheese Salad - a heady display of wise oblong slices of crunchy bread spread with creamy goat cheese garnished with herbs under a bed of rocket, red lettuce and dill. The dressing is sweet and lifting, the leaves fresh and crunchy, and the cheese smelly (meant to be taken as a compliment) and strong. The service staff wished to know when we would like the entrée as he cleared the salad plate. The salad had raised expectations so we asked for an immediate service of the main course.

With a small wing bone poking out of it, the Grilled Chicken Breast formed an impressive presentation. The grill was inconspicuously noticeable, the game surprisingly tender and the flavor predictably succulent. Though savory, the sauce was a balance of the spices that could appeal to a wider palate. The Chicken Florentine was an impeccable presentation as well, however it failed to charm. Both the fowl and the spinach were dry; taste - mediocre, texture - alright. The sauce was adequately spiced yet insipid. A layman would love it, a gourmet might like it but a rival will mock at it.

Crépe suzette brought the dining affair to an end. The flambé was sort of perennial, the dose of liqueur generous and the oranges sweet. The crépes were thin, the filling light and the aroma brilliant. All in all, a robust closure to a manicured order.  

My Verdict
Cooking is the most ancient of human arts. And as goes with all other manifestations of art, you have to be first, best or different. A luncheonette or a dining spot in Jhamsikhel has no option to being original, creative and innovative; reflection of Thamel is only the last thing I’d expect. Black Pepper is a nice place; sadly nice wouldn’t do well for a competition. My suggestion: split the menu into two – let snacks feature in the bar menu and work out a unique menu. Regular is a taste the palate doesn’t remember, exotic taste transforms customers into patrons. Plus with a proper orientation on the menu, Black Pepper would have one of the most amiable service staff. I’m going back for sure, and with a lot of expectations.  !



 

Furnishings   innovative, creative and beautiful
Ambience   Warm, cozy and inviting
Cutlery   Beautiful – Light weight and easy to use, i love the black napkins
Service   pleasant and unimposing
Restroom   sometimes less is not more
My rating   Doesn’t overwhelm the gastronome in me