It hasn’t even been two years that Yellow Pomelo has been running but the restaurant has already solidified its position as one of the best eateries in Kathmandu valley. Located in Jawalakhel, Yellow Pomelo stands out even amidst the throng of similar eateries that surrounds it because the building it’s located in has a massive outdoor seating space and (the dining space) occupies multiple floors. This gives it quite an appeal.
“When we were searching for a suitable name for the restaurant, our eyes fell on the old pomelo tree that is kind of the focal point of the outdoor area. (Since that was around Tihar in the year 2017, the pomelos were ripe, yellow, and ready to be eaten.) We figured we could call the restaurant just Yellow Pomelo as it’s catchy and unique,” says Trisha Rai, one of the owners of Yellow Pomelo.
The interior and décor of Yellow Pomelo also plays into the theme by incorporating different shades of the color yellow. The owners opted for minimalistic modern décor with a few pieces of art hung around (or painted onto the walls) here and there, all of which make strong use of the color yellow. The outdoor seating space on the first floor of the eatery is decorated with leafy vines and as much as I wanted to sit out there when I visited the restaurant, I couldn’t because it was raining very heavily.
As it’s a family-run business, the overall operation is mainly handled by Rai, her mother and her brother. Rai adds that the eatery is where your whole family can dine together as it has a very homey vibe. Rai comes from a hospitality (educational) background, her mother is a great cook who loves cooking and feeding people and her brother has always wanted to run a restaurant. So, the three of them came together in late 2017 to launch Yellow Pomelo. Either Rai or her mother always supervise the food that comes out of the kitchen to maintain the standards they are trying to set.
The food items listed on Yellow Pomelo’s menu reflects the cultural background of Rai and her family – they are from Dharan and they spent a good chunk of their lives in Singapore. So their menu has equal parts local “Dharane” food items and Singaporean dishes mixed in with a few dishes (like momos) that are popular among Nepalis in general.
“One request I’d like to make to all the guests who plan on visiting Yellow Pomelo is to not be intimidated by the foreign sounding food items and to give them a try,” says Rai.
She adds that some of their most popular food items – including the Sungur Ko Sadheko Achar – is an acquired taste that a lot of people might not like in the first try. But once you get used to its flavors, you will take every chance you get to order that particular food item.
One thing Yellow Pomelo has been struggling with since its launch is with the consistency in the taste and preparation of their food. Rai claims that because a lot of people working or studying hospitality tend to seek opportunities in foreign countries, restaurants in the country end up changing their staff line up very frequently. “This affects the taste and the process of preparation of the food. We try our best to keep this consistent but it doesn’t always work out that way,” states Rai.
My experience of dining at Yellow Pomelo was a pleasant one. I could see why Rai was emphasizing on the taste and quality of food as the thing that makes the restaurant popular because everything I tried here was simply amazing. The restaurant staffs are also courteous and polite. It all makes for a great experience. Although the eatery isn’t that focused on hosting a ton of events, they have live music sessions every other weekend.
Price: Rs 320
Yellow Pomello’s cheesecake also has a bit of Singaporean flavor added to it. This time it comes in the form of pandan - a tropical plant that is used in a lot of Southeast Asian nations to flavor things. I really liked this cheesecake - it was a bit on the heavier and dense side but the pandan flavor and the creaminess of it balances everything out.
Price: Rs 350
Another wonderful starter dish that you shouldn’t miss out on ordering while visiting Yellow Pomelo, this crispy pork is by far the best fried pork I have ever tasted. The pieces were juicy and chewy, and I loved the fact that every piece had a little skin and actual meat attached to the fatty part. Whoever makes the achars and dips at Yellow Pomelo knows what s/he is doing. This pickles served with this dish is a little too spicy but it tastes very good nonetheless.
Price: Rs 400
This might be my favorite food item out of everything I tried at Yellow Pomelo. You wouldn’t think wrapping seaweed around strips of chicken would work in any way but this item proves you wrong. The seaweed has a unique texture that manages to both blend with the crispy outer layer of the chicken as well as stand out enough that you know you’re biting into seaweed. The achar and mayonnaise served alongside it also add to its flavor.
Spicy Pork Chop
Price: Rs 600
I felt like the name of this dish is a little misleading as nothing in dish is particularly spicy – they have a mild flavor at best. The sautéed vegetables taste wonderful and the portion served is more than enough for one individual (maybe two, if you’ve ordered other side dishes as well). The pork chop, however, was a little over cooked and not as juicy as it could’ve been. The dip served alongside the dish tastes strongly of lemon and gives a much-needed zing to the entire dish.
Price: Rs 480
Nasi Goreng is a Singaporean dish that is among the bestsellers at Yellow Pomelo and the term translates to fried rice in English. The rice was completely covered with pieces of egg when it was served so breaking into it and finding pieces of shrimp hidden between the grains was a wonderful surprise. It’s flavorful without being overwhelming and the portion served is large enough to be shared.
Pink Burst Lemonade
Price: Rs 250
The Pink Burst Lemonade was exactly what I needed after devouring all of the spicy and meaty dishes at Yellow Pomelo. It is served chilled and is very refreshing and cooling. This lemonde has a tangy taste - equal parts sweet and sour - which comes from the strawberry syrup. I would definitely recommend to anyone who visits the eatery during summer.