If you’re tired of having the same kind of fast food day in and day out, I suggest you try out the dishes served at Aalucha. This is fast food that doesn’t feel like fast food, given how wholesome it looks.
You can’t go to Bhaktapur Durbar Square and not visit Aalucha. The fast food joint that serves simple yet delicious dishes made primarily from potatoes is quite popular among locals and regular visitors of the Durbar Square since its opening two years ago. Now you don’t have to go all the way to Bhaktapur to try their food. Aalucha recently opened an outlet at Mangal Bazaar in Patan, Lalitpur.
The co-founders of Aalucha, Durgesh Hada, Aayushma Shrestha and Pankaj Shrestha are college friends who studied hotel management together. All of them had been working at different hotels but decided to open their own eatery because they figured they had gathered enough knowledge about running a food and hospitality related business because of their work experience.
Aayushma mentions that they realized how Nepali eateries are basically under utilizing potatoes, even though the vegetable is used in a lot of dishes, including curries, pickles and even main courses. But in almost all of these dishes, potatoes are used as a secondary ingredient that is only there to increase the quantity of the dish.
Contrary to that, Aalucha utilizes potatoes as their main ingredient and they add in other ingredients to compliment it. They have a limited selection of food items listed on their menu: There are just eight food items and three drinks. But this ensures that everything they serve is prepared to perfection and if you have something at Aalucha once you will want to go back for more. Perhaps that’s why Aalucha has a lot of regular customers and there’s almost always a crowd at the eatery.
I tasted a total of seven food items at Aalucha when I visited their Bhaktapur outlet. Every time I review restaurants, there’s always a food item that I think isn’t as good as the others.
But at Aalucha, I actually had a hard time picking my favorite out of everything I sampled. Starting with the Tornado Fries – that are available in two sizes: small (Rs 45) and large (Rs 100) – was a good idea because it’s light and crispy. It’s something you can order when you want to munch on something but aren’t all that hungry. Durgesh revealed that Tornado Fries are the most popular items at Aalucha and it’s quite clear why.
If you actually visit the eatery to eat a full meal, I’d suggest you try either the Butter Chicken Poutine (Rs 250) or the Homemade Sukuti Fries (Rs 300) or the Choila Fries with Chicken Sausage and Egg (Rs 250). Butter Chicken Poutine is a delicious gooey mess of butter, chicken pieces, potato wedges and Aalucha’s signature in-house sauce. The flavors are subdued and I’d be surprised if anyone who tries this dish doesn’t end up liking it.
Both Homemade Sukuti Fries and Choila Fries with Chicken Sausage and Egg suit the typical Nepali palate. The Homemade Sukuti Fries combines sukuti and potato wedges that are garnished with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and dressing. The Choila Fries with Chicken Sausage and Egg are super spicy and you will most probably not be able to finish the whole serving by yourself. In fact, almost all the dishes served at Aalucha – including Butter Chicken Poutine and Homemade Sukuti Fries – are meant to be shared among two to four people.
Truthfully speaking, I wasn’t expecting the drinks served at Aalucha to be anything special because the restaurant seemed to be more focused on meals and snacks rather than their drinks. But I was pleasantly surprised at how good all the three drinks I tried there were. Kaala Khatta (Rs 150) is a sweet and savory drink, and Blue Mint Mojito (Rs 150) is a regular mojito, a summer drink that can’t ever go wrong.
Even though both of these drinks were refreshing and tasty in themselves, the last drink – Chili Guava (Rs 150) – was the highlight of the entire food review for me. I know chili and guava mashed together into a drink doesn’t sound right but somehow Aalucha makes it work. This drink was sweet with subtle hints of spiciness every few sips and I absolutely loved it. I actually asked for a refill of this drink and I managed to finish it within a few minutes even though I was quite full after gorging on so many potato dishes.
If you’re tired of having the same kind of fast food day in and day out, I suggest you try out the dishes served at Aalucha. This is fast food that doesn’t feel like fast food, given how wholesome it looks. Aalucha is where I think you should go for reasonably priced good food. And because both the outlets are located nearby or in the Durbar Square area, you can always ask for a takeaway and enjoy the food while strolling about.