Everybody has a food preference. Some like chicken, some like cottage cheese, and then there are those who seem to prefer mushroom over everything else. Rajkumar Adhikari, a civil engineer by profession, had a food bias for corn. He always found himself gravitating towards “poleko makai” (roasted corn on the cob) that vendors sold on the roadside. But he found his experience of indulging in a perfectly roasted corn complete with chili paste on the side somewhat dulled by all the noise and dust on Kathmandu streets.
He thought it would be wonderful if there were to be a cutesy place that sold roasted corn. Surely, there were many others like him. It was this recurring thought that finally made him work on Mr Corn, Nepal’s first restaurant that exclusively serves corn dishes. He partnered with his neighbor Durga Bahadur Subedi and in no time Adhikari’s idea had come to life. Mr Corn, located in Chabahil in Kathmandu, serves corn dishes including but not limited to Corn on the Cob, Corn Momo, Sweet Corn Soup, and even Corn Dhido with Local Chicken.
Their chef, Kamal Subedi, specializes in Indian cuisine, so the dishes served have Indian spices and the flavors remind you of all that glorious food you have in India. Chef Subedi and the co-owners came up with the dishes on the menu, tasting and making different dishes related to corn over a period of time. According to Adhikari, they are yet to add other exciting dishes like corn burger on the menu as well.
The restaurant is simple and features the color green and yellow like corn in its natural form. Mr Corn is a local eatery that serves great food at affordable prices. Their logo also features a corn wearing a “Dhaka Topi” inviting people to come and try the food. It’s all quite nicely done. However, as the business is still new (they opened on April 7 this year), the owners feel there is still a lot to be done to popularize Mr Corn. But they are working on it and, with plans to open many branches of Mr Corn throughout Kathmandu in the near future, the team isn’t taking it slow either.
Boiled Corn Price: Rs 45
This is sweet corn at its simplest yet most satisfying form. Anyone who likes his/her food to be as close to its original flavor will definitely love this dish. The boiled sweet corn is served in an areca nut (supari) leaf plate and is coated with a mild layer of seasoning and butter. Personally, being fond of sweet corn in general, this dish was my favorite among all the dishes served as the sweet corn was soft and buttery and was light on the stomach too. However, the taste might be a little too mild for the average Nepali palate so feel free to ask for a spicier version.
American Corn Price: Rs 130
American corn is simply boiled corn with a little twist. The boiled corn is coated with corn flour and fried. It’s then seasoned with some spring onions, garlic and a whole lot of spices and herbs and it makes for good food. Like the boiled corn, it too is served on an areca nut leaf plate and the portion makes for a well-flavored starter, though you might want to order more than one if you are there with friends. The corn is crispy and chewy and carries a subtle smell and the taste of the spring onion and the garlic. It is also well spiced and flavorful with both buttery and savory tang to it.
Steam Corn Momo Price: Rs 100
Steam corn momo is your average momo but with the addition of sweet corn. The dish that we were served was your typical veg momo where sweet corn was added into the vegetable filling. According to Adhikari, initially they tried to blend the corn into the keema by making a paste of it but that didn’t turn out to be as they had expected. So they decided to just add the corn into the filling and now that gives a “pop” whenever you take a bite. The momo is served with fresh tomato sauce that is wonderfully done – it manages to be tangy and creamy at the same time. For me, there was nothing remarkable about the momo but that is not to say that it wasn’t good. The dish could be improved by adding a little extra filling in order to overpower the neutrality of the dough.
Corn Fritter Price: Rs 150
Corn fritter is a mixture of veggies like carrots, onions, cabbages and, of course, corn. It is deep fried and served on a heart shaped leaf plate along with some carrots, red chili paste and tomato sauce. The fritters are large and crispy, making it a good dish to indulge in when you are hungry but in a snack-y food kind of mood. It was unlike any fritter we have tried till date because the crunchy bit is perfectly balanced by the softness of the carrot and cabbage and, with the tangy sauces, it tasted really good. Perfect for a rainy day when you are in mood for some piping hot “pakoras”.