Dreams of dining at a dhaba

Published On: February 14, 2020 10:49 AM NPT By: KAVYA BISWOKARMA

Located in Baluwatar, Kathmandu Dhaba is a restaurant that serves North Indian food and the main focus here is to provide simple, good food to its customers. But there are plenty of Indian restaurants in Kathmandu already, so why should you visit Kathmandu Dhaba? 

Perhaps the fact that the ambience of the restaurant is reminiscent of a typical roadside dhaba—like the ones you have seen in Bollywood movies—and the place is unlike any other Indian restaurant in Kathmandu are reasons enough? 

Smack right at the door is the front part of a truck that you can’t miss. This entrance décor feels just right. When you enter, there are charpoy like seats that make you feel like you are in an actual dhaba. The owners have gotten the décor aspect down to a T.  

For Instagram fanatics (and really, who isn’t one these days?), there is an interesting wall with a photo collage of different Bollywood actors—from the yesteryears to the current heartthrobs—and you can’t help but pose for a quick picture before you sit down to enjoy all the delicious foods they will serve you. 

For me, the best thing was that they give you a paan shot as a complementary drink after you finish your food. I loved it. 

Tandoori Platter 
Price: Rs 1450

Who would not love a plate filled with chicken and that too of different flavors and tastes? This platter comes with one kalmi kebab, a few pieces of chicken sheekh kebab, a few pieces of Afghani tikka and chicken tikka and the famous tandoori chicken. I would call it a plate of delight, as every type of chicken leaves you wanting more. It’s been marinated perfectly and hence the meat is juicy. And the spicy aftertaste is heavenly. 

Tandoor Pizza
Price: Rs 499

A soft base of dough topped with cheese, chicken tikka, minced meat, tomato gravy and extra ketchup on top is Kathmandu Dhaba’s Indian fusion style pizza. Since they came up with this recipe especially for children, it might not be something everyone would enjoy. Personally, I felt the ketchup was a bit too much for the pizza. However, the soft base and the mixture of chicken tikka and cheese do give a nice burst of flavor. The pieces of onions and capsicum sprinkled on top also even out the strong taste of the ketchup but you could ask them to skip the ketchup entirely. 

Special Lassi
What’s Indian food without a glass of lassi? Even if you aren’t that big a fan of lassi, especially in this weather, I urge you to try Kathmandu Dhaba’s version of it. Topped with raisins and cashews, the lassi is neither too sweet nor tangy—it’s just right. You could have it instead of a dessert at the end of your meal to wash down your food or you could start your meal with it as you wait for your food to arrive. 

Tandoori Momo 
Price: Rs 320

Nepalis and momos go hand in hand and it’s keeping that in mind that a lot of restaurants these days serve different renditions of momos. While I’m personally not in favor of banana, chocolate momos and the likes, the momos I had at Kathmandu Dhaba were perhaps the best I have had so far. Tandoori momo isn’t the regular steamed momos we generally have but the fried and roasted momos taste just wonderful. There’s a smoky flavor that you can’t get enough of. Served with a mint dip that balances the smoky flavor, the tandoori momos here are worth traveling to Baluwatar for, even if you live on the other side of town. 

Soya Malai Chaap
Price: Rs 350

This delight is a pure vegetarian food that won’t make you miss meat. Made with just the right amount of cream, this dish is a must try if you are someone who likes to try out new flavors. It’s marinated in fresh cream and roasted in a tandoor and thus it’s crispy yet soft at the same time. Non-vegetarians—even those who end up pushing away plates of food that don’t have meat in them—would also enjoy this. 

Murgh Musallam with Rumali Roti and Garlic Naan
Price: Rs 620/Rs 150/ Rs 120
If you are hungry and need a proper meal, I suggest you order curry and roti/naan at Kathmandu Dhaba. Try the Murgh Musallam, which is basically chicken curry and minced meat made in fresh cream and served with boiled eggs on top. Personally, after the Tandoori momo, the Murgh Musallam was my favorite dish. The curry has just the right notes of spices and it’s neither too sweet nor too spicy. However, it’s a bit on the heavier side, especially when you have roti or naan with it, but then when you are famished, isn’t that what you want?

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