It’s here at last! We’ve been talking and talking for a long time now, but now it’s here. Yes, Pizza Chatamari is here in your very own Kathmandu now. At, where else, but the ones who brought you yummy yomaree throughout the year, and you didn’t have to wait for Yomari Punhi anymore to sink your teeth into those delectable delicacies.
Yes, you got it right. It’s The Village Café up in Pulchowk that I’m talking about. Pizza Chatamari—the name itself sounds pretty intriguing, don’t you think? A fusion of celebrated Italian flair and refined Newari finesse, one would find it difficult to beat such a combination. ‘Fusion Cuisine’, that’s what it is, the latest addition to the already great menu of The Village Café. There are other fusion dishes, of course, but first let’s see how this culinary experimentation on Italian flair and Newari finesse delivers.
The first bite, literally the first bite into this dish by someone outside those making it at The Village Café—lucky me!—and I know it’s going to be a hit with those on the lookout for something new and exciting. The distinctive taste of chatamari (pancake made of finely grounded rice flour, in case you don’t know) is a welcome homecoming on the palate, while the cheese and chicken topping bestows on it the by-now familiar essence of Italy’s gift to the world, the pizza. One can guess that a fair bit of culinary skill must have gone into its creation. But, the fusion works. And how! It’s something to be savored at a leisurely pace, the different flavors working in perfect harmony to complement each other in the most delicious way one could imagine.
Imagine, yes, that’s what many of us have doing for ages now, asking the question again and again, “Can chatamari be said to be similar to pizza?” Of course the answer is “No”. Chatamari is chatamari, and pizza is, well, pizza. They are different entities altogether, but at the same time, it is fusion cuisine that we’re talking about here, and one never knows what one will get when talking about something as unpredictable as ‘fusion’. It’s an experiment, after all, as I’ve mentioned before, and it works, is my discerning judgment. I enjoyed it, and you will, too.
The next ‘fusion dish’ put in front of me was the Village Wrap, well, actually two Village Wraps, one vegetarian and the other not so. They looked really appetizing, to say the least. Again, it was chatamari that was involved in a big way, it being the wrap. And what was inside those wraps? The vegetarian one had a generous filling of thickly mayonnaise-d mixture of greens that was flavorsome and tangy, and when taken together with its thin chatamari wrapping, was a smooth treat on the palate.
The non-vegetarian Village Wrap had an equally generous filling of delectable chicken pieces that had been nicely grilled to just the right degree for them to be oh, so tender and succulent. And, not to forget, they were quite spicy, too, which added more than a bit of zest to the dish, but which was nicely balanced by the gentle taste of its chatamari wrapping. So, all in all, the Village Wrap, I would say, is another success in The Village Café’s fusion cuisine. I would even go further and say that it’s going to be quite the prima donna henceforth.
But wait—‘prima donna’—isn’t that the title already reserved for The Village Café’s great success story, the yomaree? Well then, how about a yomaree now to end on just the right note? And, here it is, the Yomaree Sundae, another of the entrepreneurial café’s wonderfully innovative creations. Another fusion dish, no less! First, it looks lovely on the plate; the yomaree’s sides open and spread out like the petals of a flower, the thick dark chaku on them so temptingly inviting, and the center, a small mound of milky white ice cream, bits of chocolate flakes lending a soft contrast. It’s a dish that is artistic, no doubt, and a spoonful in your mouth, you have to say it is, again without doubt, very, very agreeable on the palate. A lovely dessert, one must admit, and a fine ending to an exciting exploration of The Village Café’s brand new ’Fusion Cuisine’.
A note, if you please: Accompanying the above-mentioned delicious dishes was a very special drink—another of The Village Café’s clever innovations—the Masala Soda. Sounds like a simple enough drink, right? Wrong. The essential ingredient in it is the café’s very own secret, the masala, I mean. But, secrets aside, the drink is refreshing, certainly, and most probably an excellent aid to digestion; tasty, sure, and a bit of tongue tickler, too.