Melting pot of global flavours


We are inviting all Kathmanduites on a journey that traverses the globe, crosses all gastronomic boundaries and the culinary excellence of each country unites all. The Himalayan Times International Food Festival has become a brand name in itself, bringing together the spices and herbs and tastes from diverse nations and palates. Scheduled to be held on December 2 at the Birendra International Convention Centre, Baneshwore the festival promises to be a foodie’s heaven with over 15 countries and embassies taking part in it. Tickets, priced at Rs 100 and Rs 50 for children below 4-feet in height each, are available at THT front desk, select outlets and at the venue itself on the day of the fest.

Going veg Israeli-way:

A truly vegetarian feast is what the OR2K restaurant is laying out at THT food fest.

Describing Israeli cuisine, owner and manager of OR2K Arjun Kumar Ban says, “Israeli food does not come in one dish alone. It is always a set meal.”

Expressing difficulty in choosing the sets for the food fest, Ban says that they’ve put together food items that represent Israeli cuisine best. They will be serving two sets namely Shashuka combination and Falafel combination.

The Shashuka combination will have shashuka which is egg cooked (poached) over special tomato sauce, which will be served together with naan, potato chips, Israeli salad of lettuce, tomato and cucumber with olive oil and lemon and a glass of mint lemonade.

Describing falafel, Ban says, “If you want a familiar term, then it can be said to be similar to our mixed vegetable pakora. Falafel has ground gram mixed with five to seven different kinds of vegetables and fried.”

So the Falafel set will have falafel (obviously), with naan, hummus which is a paste of sesame, olive oil with ground boiled gram, babaganus which is a dish made from eggplant which is slowly grilled over fire for almost four hours, mixed with “special Israeli masala” and made into a paste, and the refreshing mint lemonade.

“We get the mint from Panauti and it is organically grown,” claims Ban.

Says chef Ram Khabal, who had prepared the food, “Israeli cuisine is healthy. Maybe because we do not serve meat, people tend to veer towards the non-veg stalls. What we’d like to say is taste Israeli food for a totally different gastronomic experience.”

The mint lemonade served with both the sets are refreshingly cool.

Israeli fare:

• Shashuka combination: Rs 100 (One egg with tomato sauce, chips, naan, salad and mint lemonade)

• Falafel combination: Rs 100 (Hummus, falafel, babaganus, naan, mint lemonade)

Sushi and lots more:

Japanese cuisine, which is characterised by a mildly sweet taste, provides you the opportunity to relish food cuisine without worrying about increasing your waistline and Japanese food is low in fat and not too spicy. Seafood is main ingredient in most of the dishes, with rice and noodles making the staple food of Japan. Dasinamoto, a powder made from dried fish is the key condiment in Japanese cuisine. This is the fourth time that Maki Newa Bhutu is spreading out Japanese cuisine at THT food fest.

Prabin Man Shrestha, director of the restaurant says, “So far we’ve had good experiences in THT food fest, and we are hoping that this year will be even better.”

Saying that most the ingredients used in the dishes prepared are imported from Japan, Shrestha added that this year they are providing six different varieties of Japanese dishes including three new dishes, and of course, the traditional Japanese wine ‘Osake’.

Sunagimo Yaki (frided chicken gizzzard with Dasi), Tuna Karage (fried tuna marinated in butter, salt, pepper and dasi) and Khare Udon (noodles cooked in Japanese curry with Khare spice) are the new items on the Maki Newa Bhutu this year.

What is Japanese cuisine without sushi, so here you have it — Avocado futomaki or sushi made from seaweed, Japanese rice, avocado and eggs). The THT food fest favourite Yakitori or barbecued chicken in Japanese sauce will be laid out for all the die-hard fans.

And if you’d like to taste a little of everything or want to taste Japanese cuisine at once, then go the the Sushi Teishoku or the sushi set.

To wash it all down, a little Osake goes a long, long way.

Japanese fare:

• Avocado Futomaki: Rs 60 per piece

• Yakitori (3 pieces): Rs 130

• Sunagimo Yaki: Rs 150 (3 pieces)

• Tuna Karage: Rs 100 (per piece)

• Kahre Udon: Rs 60 (per bowl)

• Sushi Teishoku: Rs 250(per set)

• Osake: Rs 160 (per 60 ml)

Italian kitchen:

Pizzas with a crispy, crusty base and tantalising pastas in different sauces — that’s what the Italian stall is all about this THT food fest.

To be catered by the E.d.en Food Court and Lounge Bar, the stall promises you bon apettit in the true Italian style.

“It’s the way you make the sauce that defines Italian cuisine. Its herbs like oregano, rosemary and thyme, which give these sauces their special flavour. So we are offering three different kinds of pastas with three different choices of sauce,” says Roshan Adiga, Managing Director of E.d.en.

If you wish to have a light yet wholesome meal, it’s better to go for spaghetti or penne Pasta with your choice of sauce.

The sauces include Bolognese that is tomato with minced chicken; Nepolitana, which is a simple tomato sauce, and finally Cream sauce.

But if you really want to satisfy your appetite, then ravioli with cream sauce is the best choice. Ravioli is a kind of pasta stuffed with cottage cheese and spinach. You cannot miss the pizzas at this stall, as the crust is crispy with alluring toppings suitable for the vegetarian and non-vegetarian palate.

“Since this is the first time we are participating in THT food fest, we wish to fulfil the E.d.en motto ‘Eat, drink and entertain’,” says Adiga with a lot of enthusiasm.

Italian fare:

• Margarita pizza: Rs 100

• Mixed veg pizza: Rs 100

• Mixed non-veg pizza: Rs 120

• Spaghetti with Bolognese/ Nepolitana/ Cream sauce: Rs 100

• Penne with Bolognese/ Nepolitana/ Cream sauce: Rs 100

• Ravioli with Cream sauce: Rs 120