When we think of Jhamsikhel, the first thing that comes to mind is the jam-packed ‘restaurant lane’ amidst the hustle and bustle of the main road. With more than two dozen restaurants in the area, it is hard to pick one for a good meal. However, tucked away in a corner is Lhakpa’s Chulo and that was where my wife and I headed for a weekday lunch.
At first I thought it was a typical Nepali restaurant with authentic Nepali menu, but was I wrong! The menu was limited but had an option of Continental meals as well as the traditional Daal-Bhat. Of course I went against my instinct and did not order Daal-Bhat. Instead, we ordered Chicken Fingers for starters, Pork Chop for main course and a Fruit Salad for dessert. The Chicken Fingers were exceptionally highlighted by the delicately balanced honey and mustard sauce that made it irresistible. The chicken was uniquely presented and it did not actually look like ‘fingers’. The crispiness was the highlight of the dish and it could be great with a mug of chilled beer.
Unfortunately the main course failed to make an impression. The sauce — which seemed like oregano sauce and was a bit salty — was not able to compliment the pork, as it should have and the tomato flavour was not the right choice for the dish. While the outer surface of the pork was a bit hard and chewy, it was a tad bit overcooked throughout. Thankfully, the boiled vegetables along with the French Fries provided some relief. Overall it was an ‘okay’ dish. The presentation however was appealing; the redness of the sauce looked wonderful on a plate with yellow
The curd for the fruit salad was too much battered, but taste-wise it was good. The surprise highlight of the lunch would have to be the Iced Teas — both peach and apple. As it was mid afternoon, the drink was a very refreshing welcome and tasted wonderful as well. The right amount of peach flavour helped disguise the flavour of the tea into something that tasted amazingly refreshing.
There are hoards of restaurants with modular furniture and swanky décor in the city, but Lhakpa’s Chulo provides a sense of change with its homely feel. The restaurant was very well maintained and clean and the same would go for the garden as well. The garden’s setting was very pleasing and relaxing, with a small water-spout in the corner and lounging furniture by its side. All in all, the place has a quite atmosphere and their little garden seems like a wonderful place to dine with a group of friends. The internal décor was traditional but the simplicity of the furniture was a bit of a letdown. There is a parking facility for about two cars and a few motorcycles. The staff were welcoming and active when we entered the restaurant but as with most restaurants I have been to in Kathmandu, it soon fizzled out.
I would visit Lhakpa’s Chulo again, not for their Pork Chop but rather to escape the hustle and bustle of the madding Jhamsikhel crowd and to hang out with my friends, kick back and relax in the garden with an Iced Tea in my hand. I recommend you visit this place once and feel it, breathe it and taste it yourself.