An urban retreat

Published On: March 29, 2019 11:00 AM NPT By: Rakshya Khadka

In just four months since its opening Dokodeli is all the buzz and fireworks in the food reviewing circle. With its state of the art interiors it gives you more than good food, it gives you an experience.

Apil KC, Mandip Subedi, Ravi Bhushan Jha, and Indra Basnet have been in the hospitality business for quite some time. The quintet own Hotel Doko, one of the best rated hotels in Dang. “Because our hotel in Dang is well reviewed and our teamwork strong we wanted to branch out and provide the same kind of service for which we had been appreciated thus far. Establishing Dokodeli is our first attempt,” says Basnet.

Although their hotel in Dang is a 30 room hospice with a fully equipped bar and cafe, they wanted to entirely focus on the dining experience with Dokodeli. Dokodeli is named after Hotel Doko and ‘deli’ is a reference to the rural culture of Nepali food making. But unlike its traditional nomenclature, Dokodeli is a multi cuisine restaurant and their menu was especially designed to cater to the diverse tastes of their customers. 

The founders have backgrounds in engineering and designing so they took it upon themselves to arrange the setup. Because Dokodeli runs from noon to 10 pm, they were mindful of the architecture and layout being of convenience to their visitors at all hours of the day. There are lounge chairs up on the terrace, booths for gatherings and meetings and arrangements to complement natural light. A large artfully painted portrait of John Lennon overlooks the main lounge. The attempt to give local artisans a platform is quite apparent.

With a staff of 23, the team works closely and introspectively. “Since we just started, getting into a rhythm and motivating one another is of paramount importance. Everyday it is about evaluating the areas we need to improve on and doing it cohesively,” adds Basnet.

Executive chef Nir Lama and his team come up with a special dish every day and they are still experimenting and exploring. They have arrangements for live music on some weekdays. The feedback so far has been phenomenal for the team but they’re still striving to improve. “People come asking for some of our dishes, especially the tikka. It gives us immense pleasure but we’re also pressuring ourselves to improve and give people the best dining experience. I hope we’re that place people choose for an escape,” he concludes.
Chicken Biryani
Price: Rs 650

Another presentation marvel, this one. And the thought wins you over as well. You may have dealt with this: You order biryani at a restaurant and because you are busy talking it goes stone cold before you notice it. Dokodeli has a solution for this. And this is why they have a specially constructed dish to serve their biryani in. There is a safely placed candle under your plate of biryani to keep it warm for a significant length of time. The biryani itself is plethora of flavors, none overpowers the other. It is neither a kingdom of spices nor the dominion of the sauces. The meat nicely falls off the bone and the accompanying raita and pickle beautifully complement the biryani.

Chicken Tikka
Price: Rs 650

Where do we even begin? Hands down the best tikka in town (and probably further). Before we delve into the goodness that is this tikka, we must take a moment to acknowledge the effort for presentation. Served on a suspended skewer and hung over a piece of burning coal, the visuals are spectacular. You eat with your eyes first, founder Basnet said, and with this you definitely do. The meat is supple, juicy and oh so well seasoned. This is a tikka you will remember. Trust us, we do. Full stars (and an extra) to the chicken tikka.


Blue Angel
Price: Rs 430

Summer’s just around the corner and Blue Angel is a great summertime drink to welcome it with. It’s cool, fresh and so heavily biased for litchi, it’s commendable. If you’re a litchi person and love summer drinks, Blue Angel is for you. There’s a hint of lemon somewhere in there too.

Summer Fizz
Price: Rs 390

Barista Abhijit KC takes special pride in this special drink. There’s apple juice, pineapple juice and a great deal of fruit in this drink. The egg whites are carefully blended so as to not give an overwhelmingly syrupy taste. The result is a fluffy coat of whipped egg whites that give a foamy texture to this summer drink.

Fresh Forest
Price: Rs 410

A good partner for any main course, this drink is especially for those with a sweet tooth. A concoction of mint, honey, ginger, sprite and grenadine, Fresh Forest reminds one of Virgin Mojito on the first sip but the honey eventually takes center stage. 

Honey Mustard Chicken
Price: Rs 430

Fried chicken with honey mustard dressing and a little bed of slaw, this is a good appetizer to begin. But then, when is chicken ever not? The chicken is nice and crisp, the insides a little firm but smooth once you break into it. Each bite gives you a satisfying crunch, that’s how you know that’s a well done chicken. But it’s really the sauce that is the soul of this dish. It has a muted sweetness to it and light zing of umami. 

Chicken Tandoori Pizza
Price: Rs 670

What’s the one thing about pizzas that bothers you? For most, it is the crust. The crust can either make or break a pizza. Dokodeli promises a ‘thin crust pizza base’ and that’s exactly what they deliver. A little on the thinner side (good thing here), the crust still nicely holds all the goodness of its toppings. The chicken (although the star) does not take the focus away from the tanginess of the marinara sauce and the cheese. The chicken was smoky and well done. The only complain we had with the pizza were the large chunks of chicken. The meat itself unevenly distributed, not that we minded much. This is one good pizza so the absence of meat (in certain bites) is hardly noticeable.

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