Last week, I, along with two of my friends, wandered into Bhojan Griha, situated at the heart of Dillibazar. Now, we could have gone to any other restaurant, but we were thinking of treating ourselves to a hearty Nepali meal, and to be a little more honest, I think we all are, in a way, tired of the same Western-themed environments that all of these other restaurants seem to target. We were looking for something different, and Bhojan Griha offered that unique ambience that we were searching for.
Bhojan Griha, rumored to have been built by Jung Bahadur Rana, the whole backdrop that this place revolved in, was like a time machine. The 150-year-old three-storied building was so well kept that not one soul would be able to tell at first glance that this place has a whole lot of history behind it. The ceiling and the seating adornments, the pictures and paintings that hung on the walls, the lamps that were used for the lighting, the decorations, everything gave off a gothic vibe that screamed Nepali originality. The first floor, called Basantapur Baithak, does not require guests to take off their shoes, while the second floor, Putali Baithak, and the third floor, Kantipur Baithak, required guests to take them off. Basantapur Baithak may be for those who want to eat and scram, and Putali and Kantipur Baithak for people who want to actually spend some quality time there.
As we entered the place, we were welcomed by the friendly staff in traditional Nepali uniforms. We were served Poleko Chicken, Khasi ko Pakku, Anda Bara, Momo, and Sikarni. Poleko Chicken is smoked chicken flavored with a lot of Nepali spices; you could feel the aroma in the air. Khasi ko Pakku was mutton cooked slowly in a kasauti, also flavored with a lot of spices. Both the dishes were a flavor bomb, a festival of different spices. Anda Bara was very flattering, as it reminded us of the cultural Newari roots that it originated from. Bhojan Griha’s momo was the most attractive for me, as they use wheat flour instead of white flour, which made the momo a hundred times healthier and less in calories than the regular momo, and it tasted like heaven.
Now, coming to the desserts, it is safe to say that no other place in Kathmandu serves pumpkin sikarni. We tried two different types of sikarni, and both were mind-blowing. You’re missing out a lot if you haven’t tasted their Pumpkin Sikarni. While these are just the appetizers, the main course includes mandatory daal bhaat with chicken curry, fish fries, and other healthy vegetables prepared in Nepali style. All of the dishes tasted amazing, thanks to experienced Head Chef Suman Shrestha, who’s been with Bhojan Griha for 14 years.
The 20-year-old establishment offers all types of traditional Nepali dishes in traditional Nepali brass utensils, adding a taste of Nepali authenticity. In addition, their Kamasutra Bar exudes the erotic and sultry vibe that the Ranas used to drowse themselves in. They offer various wines, champagnes, whisky, cocktails, and mocktails.
Bhojan Griha, a place that has even hosted Nepal royalty in the past, is perfect for friends and family get-togethers, business meetings, and conferences. The whole place can accommodate more than 200 guests. We also learned that you have to make reservation in advance if the number of guests is high. The place is livelier in the evening, as they have traditional Nepali performances (Jhijiya, Tamang Selo, Newari dance, Bhojpuri dance, etc.) every day. The place provides employment to more than sixty, said Manager Rajib Basnet.
The ambience was superb, the staff was perfectly hospitable, the sanitation and hygiene was first class, and the food melted in our mouths. And, the place is open until 10 pm! Bhojan Griha is a must-visit, as it has an affordable menu, and overall, is a pretty charming place. Also, do not forget to try the Pumpkin Sikarni!