Think of the color yellow. Yellow has forever been associated with all things bright and cheerful. And that is exactly what Laxman Thapa envisions his Yellow Coffee and Food to become through its food – the bearer of all things happy.
As a food enthusiast Thapa always hoped to own a restaurant. When a property opened up for rent at Thapathali, on the way to Norvic International Hospital, he knew this was his chance. “The location was ideal. There were barely any good restaurants in this area, which was surprising because you need good places around a hospital,” he says.
The property opening up came at a good time for Thapa too. He owned a chain of bakeries and was looking forward to expanding to food services. He hired a food consultant as he was barely versed in culinary knowledge and devised a menu that could cater to the various needs of people. “Since it’s a hospital area, it’s natural for some people to come looking for a good plate of dal-bhat or for someone to wait their turn for appointments over some light lunch,” he says adding that these scenarios became the basis for the menu design.
Now they serve an entire range of Nepali thali, have a different menu for momos (with it being the unofficial national food of Nepal) and also serve continental food. They also serve different varieties of coffee and will soon incorporate bakery items too. “The aim is for a customer to come to us with expectations and for us to outlive those expectations,” says Thapa. The eatery has been in operations for a little over six months now and the feedback so far has been exceptional. “We have also taken care to be reasonable with our prices,” he says.
For Thapa, a good restaurant is one with a customer service that is as good as the food. So far, he has been happy with the food but admits that they have yet to improve on the service aspect. “The employees are rather inexperienced but they have done an impressive job considering they have never done this kind of work before,” he says. He is confident that they can improve on the service aspect in the future.
When working on the outlet, the focus on the interiors was given great priority. The idea was to create an ambiance that was casual and delightful at the same time. Thapa hired artists for the wall decor and put up motivational quotes to contribute to the positive vibe he wished to exude through the eatery. “We hope to become the retreat that makes long waits bearable. We hope people come here to relax, have a good time, and enjoy our food,” concludes Thapa.
Price: Rs 215
Do you have a bias against chicken choila (because choila shouldn’t be anything but buff)? Well, if you fall under this category, you will be questioning your life choices. At Yellow Coffee and Food, you get the authentic choila taste. The meat itself is lightly charcoaled and tender. You won’t miss out on the juice. The garlic garnish is delicately balanced, meaning you won’t be overwhelmed by the taste, which is the case for most choilas in town. But if you are one for the spice, do ask them to add some more.
Chicken Soup Momo
Price: Rs 250
This one here is the bestseller. And there’s no wondering why. In the chills of winter, soup momo is a popular dish and they make it better here. You get a broth that is neither too thin nor too thick. Each spoonful is flavor packed. It’s a little on the saltier side but you detect a hint of garlic and spices that you know are there but can’t put a name to. And the soup has a generous amount of minced meat in it. Yes, you read that right. In this bowl of all things delightful, you get chunks of meat. The momos are nice and soft but the star is definitely the soup here.
Price: Rs 200
Piqued your interest, didn’t it? Well, you won’t be getting the packaged snack but the idea is in the name itself. These momos are crunchy and oh so delectable. At, Yellow Coffee and Food, they steam their momos, dip it in a batter and lightly fry them. The result is momos that give a satisfying crunch as you bite into it and gives way to meat that is tender and nestled safely within the crunchy crust. You get the crunch yes, but you also get a tender momo with the nicest filling. Add to that the dips, one is slightly savory (which was unusual as it sounds but also absolute magic) and the other will set your palate on fire.
Mustang Aloo with Piro Achar
Price: Rs 150
You can’t really go wrong with Mustang Aloo, can you? At Yellow Coffee and Food, they serve a really good version of this dish. The wedges are large and have the rough appearance to lend them the local look of Mustangi potatoes. Breaking into the wedges you will find that the insides are fluffy and they melt on your tongue. But what makes this dish particularly unforgettable is the dip that comes with it. The sharpness of the dip’s heat blends wonderfully with the softness of the potatoes.
Price: Rs 350
This is one interesting dish that is singular to this café only. They first cut the chicken into spirals and wrap them around a stick. This is then dipped into a batter and deep fried. This is how you get the spring chicken. They curl onto your fingers like spring, thus the name spring chicken. A light coating of spices on the chicken supports the flavor of this dish wonderfully. There’s work put into this dish but the flavor in the end justifies all the seemingly unnecessary effort.