Sampling the sea

Published On: March 15, 2019 11:30 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

The Dockyard Restaurant is as much about its service as it is about the food and the ambience. With a special menu just for vegetarians and three different kinds of seating spaces, they are catering to the diverse needs of their customers as well. 

Ships, large boats, and all thing related to the alluring sea are quite unfamiliar to us Nepalis. Being a landlocked country, we are quite unaccustomed to the settings, both internal and external, the language of reference, and much of everything else that’s related to it. Safe to say our knowledge is limited to the movies we have watched and the books we have read. 

It was keeping this in mind that Priyanka Rauniyar and Utsab Sainju planned to open a ship-themed restaurant here in Nepal to draw in the crowd and specifically provide seafood. Upon searching for an easily accessible location, they came upon a property at New Baneshwor in Kathmandu and decided that, for the theme they were going, the particular area would be an ideal place. 

An engineer, Priyanka designed the whole set herself, from the huge steering wheel on the ceiling to the hulk shaped booths that separated one seating area from another. On the ceilings too, are thick rope ties fashioned to appear like the stays that hold up masts on ships. The restaurant was named Dockyard to reflect this theme and also so that it becomes a relaxing place of sorts for its visitors.

The designing and building took close to three months and, along with the construction, the kitchen team and the menu took shape. From the very beginning, it was decided that seafood would be their specialty so the menu was based around that. “We are technically a multi-cuisine restaurant but it’s seafood we particularly focus on. Our chef has a background on Italian cuisine so we do good pizzas and spaghettis too,” explains Priyanka.

Although Dockyard is about its fish, people also come to the restaurant for some of its other signature dishes. The Dockyard Chicken, Pork Choy, Coca Cola Chicken, Sizzling Brownie, Chicken Cordon Bleu, along with the seafood, seem to be quite popular at the restaurant. And in the past three months of their operation, the have gathered quite a clientele too. Most of their customers fall within the age bracket of 18 to 25. “I suppose it is the affordability and our commitment to bringing something new on the table every time that appeals to them,” says Priyanka.

Priyanka, as one of the two co-founders, overlooks the management aspect of the restaurant. She admits that despite all the work they have put in to get the place up and running, they have yet to work on the restaurant’s promotion. “We don’t seem to be drawing in a large crowd despite the ambience we have and the good food we are dedicated to providing,” she says adding that they are planning on expanding their reach in the coming months. 

With a staff of 15 people, The Dockyard Restaurant is as much about its service as it is about the food and the ambience. With a special menu just for vegetarians and three different kinds of seating spaces, they are catering to the diverse needs of their customers as well. This is where you will find something to suit different tastes and preferences and that, we can say, is quite a rare thing. 

Mixed Pizza (Medium)
Price: Rs 550

You must be familiar with this: You order a pizza and all the good stuff (the meat bits obviously) are so sparsely spread that after the first bite all you are left with is some cheese and bread. Not that we are complaining about the cheese and the bread but we do miss the crunch of bacon, the chewiness of salami, and the softness of the chicken. With the pizza here, you don’t have to worry about that. The base is soft, the sauce just the right amount and there’s a very generous spread of salami, chicken and bacon. This is a good pizza.

Supreme Chicken
Price: Rs 550

The presentation wins in this dish for sure. One of the specials from their newly designed menu, this dish comes with a chicken propped on the plate. It’s all chicken breast, fashioned into appearing like the body and head of the chicken. It comes with some creamy mashed potatoes and is dressed with a sauce of Parmesan cheese and cream. The chicken is tender, flaky, and isn’t very oily. The trick here is mixing the three together. You get the salt and the zing from the chicken, a smoothness from the potatoes and a delightful sweetness to tie it all together from the dressing. Then there’s the assortment of vegetables. This could be your go-to food option even when you are on a strict diet.

Seafood Platter
Price: Rs 1100

There’s something here for everyone. Guaranteed. Grilled tiger prawn, golden fried prawn, squid calamari, potato wedges, fish finger served with lemon butter sauce, you choose. This dish is exactly what this restaurant stands for. The insides of the fish is packed with all the natural juices and it is oh so soft when you break into it. Seafood is always better with lemon so the lemon sauce they specifically serve with this platter gives your palate quite the zing. A suggestion if we may, wrap some of everything on the platter with a lettuce leaf, pour the sauce over it, and sprinkle some oregano on top. You won’t regret it.


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