All of a sudden, a place in Bakhundole comes to dominate culinary conversations and everyone I meet is talking about Bu Keba. I decide to check this place out and get hooked to it. Sounds like a falling for a Lady Gaga track; in fact, the place is as addictive. Housed inside a red brick wall compound with considerable parking space, generous service staff and creative seating arrangements, Bu Keba stands synonym to a great food experience.    

As you enter from the parking lot, a hut with floor seating greets you on the right while a miniature kitchen garden of celery and lettuce sprawls the left. The wrought iron chairs under the shade serve the purpose for formal affairs while the wooden machaans painted black are great for casual dining affairs for groups of four-ish.

The first thing that strikes you about the menu is that it is multi-cuisine. The menu abounds in comfort food alongside Middle Eastern, Continental and Nepali cuisine with a great deal of inventions.
 

5 Ws

Where’s it located?
Bakhundole, opposite SNV
What to wear?
Semi or casuals for the
machaan, anything else for other
seatings
Why drop in?
Great steak, buckwheat pancakes
and invention desserts
When to visit?
Lunch and dinners
How much to carry?
Three thousand for two with
beer and taxes

The hummus here is a far cry from the lump of blended chickpeas that haunts most places in Kathmandu. The accompanying pita bread is light, undusted and not at all puffed. Or the momos – my personal favorite is the one with Spinach and Cottage Cheese filling. The greens have an unobstructing texture while the mild aroma of cottage cheese actually induces appetite. The best part for me – there is no awfully smelling ginger-garlic element in the filling – not that they’ve not used it, the balance is stricken perfect. A religiously non-veggie friend gorged on the momos (p.s. he was not hungry).

On occasions I’m not feeling that hungry, I ask for a bowl of Khasi ko Ras – Mutton soup with buckwheat mash. The soup is as energizing as it is welcoming with shreds of meat suspended in the liquid. A minimal garnish of coriander leaves over a suspension flavored with cumin and pepper does great for a typical Nepali palate. And if you thought the buckwheat mash meant a Dhindo, you are partially right. The technique involved in preparation of this mash is the same they do in that of potato mash, hence rendering a buttery flavor with a rich and smooth texture.

I deem a culinary journey at Bu Keba incomplete until you’ve had the Buckwheat pancakes with flambéed mushrooms. The pancake batter is infused with parsley and the mushroom used is oyster mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms have this quality of retaining flavor thanks to their profuse gills, hence the extensive work done on the food doesn’t just slip away. Add to that mozzarella sauce and a string of crunchy spaghetti to top it up.

If you have a massive appetite for some meaty stuff, ask for Chicken Breast or a steak. A food lover will definitely fall for the reduction – rich condensed flavor of toil. At times you feel whimsy and lucky, tell the service staff you want to try something. The executive chef will strike a conversation with you and get some of his inventions on your plate. The other day, I had some chicken shreds in balsamic with Buckwheat mash – yum.   

The wraps are the chef’s specialty – light wraps served with a delectable filling on a sizzler pan accompanied by sour cream and salsa dip. You have to do the exercise yourself but the result is worth all the hard work. I prefer the veggie filling for its crunchy texture and rich flavor.        

An array of desserts exists to serve a brilliant close to the meal. I prefer the Inter-caste marriage – citrus in yogurt, a rare food combination practised in Nepal. The brownie is equally good, and brings a joyful end to a joyful eating experience.

Verdict
Bu Keba has, within a few months of coming into the scene, come to redefine organic eating in Kathmandu – it can both be healthy and enjoyable now. A personal note of thanks to the chef for preserving the scrumptious Nepali cuisine while making it increasingly healthful. My mom always said, “Never eat anything that comes with a shelf life.” She will bless these guys.!

Furnishings   Diverse and apt for all occasions; my pick – the machaan
Ambiencee   Bright and uplifting outdoors, warm and calm indoors
Cutlery   All that you need to use
Service   I would hire the service staff
Restroom   Nice and clean
My rating   They deserve every bit of it