The moveable feast : 20 days of Caroline’s Christmas and New Year


Half of Kathmandu knows that Chez Caroline is my favourite haunt and with good reason. The food is par excellence, the atmosphere smiling and wonderful, and the service led by Madhu is a wonder. In the kitchen it is the pleasant ever-happy always talented hand of Gopal. And supervising it all is Caroline with a gentle and fine touch.

But festive seasons are always special at Chez Caroline over to her to tell you about this year’s menu which is magical.

“The meal is four courses. There are snacks or ‘Mise en bouche’ like the delicious miniature pastries filled with a variety of fillings all tasty like Chicken Mushroom in cream. The textures are wondrous. The flavours are delicate. There are two sets of starters. In the first there are soups like cream of pumpkin flavoured with Banyuls, a special aged wine from the south of France and garnished with the blue cheese from the centre of France. Or you can choose sun dried and fresh tomatoes in an upside down tart with imported goat cheese and timur, which is a unique spice found in Nepal and in Eastern China where it is used to rest fish’s heads. We won’t talk about the five dishes you can choose for from this first gathering of starters. There is a second set of starters but let us go on to the main event.”

We will come back to starters later. Says Caroline, “Every year we prepare Turkey in a different way but one thing they have in common they are all deboned and stuffed. This year it will be stuffed with walnuts, coffee and whiskey and minced turkey.”

This one is a favourite with its full and filling taste and the sauce is out of the world. But Caroline is on to the next dish,”There will be Gambas and wild boar roasted in mild spices like star anise and cardamom. There will also be tuna with ginger. For dessert the Buche de Noel is a must dessert. This one is a log filled with chocolate and coffee. There is also ice-cream with candied chestnuts and cream of Armagnac amongst the difficult to choose from desserts.”

Okay it’s me talking. I love starters and the choice is incredible. Fresh goat cheese and Mascarpone cheese with herbs like dill, thyme and parsley. There is also some shrimp cocktails with vanilla from Madagascar (how romantic is that and how absolutely divine). There will be also traditional Foie Gras from France and some scallops flavoured with curry leaves and saffron. Caroline is known to take a traditional French dish and give a twist in the tail using intercontinental ingredients in a sort of Caroline’s fusion cuisine. Like the varied starters there are a number of end-of-the-meal titbits like chocolate and truffles.

I am diabetic but I’ve been known to eat 12. They get you salivating for more.

Says Caroline, “There is also a vegetarian menu with a main course like tofu marinated with spices, ricotta raviolis and other choices too numerous to be mentioned.” This menu is served whole during two days (Christmas Eve and New Year eve) but in between and after that you will find it along with the regular ala carte. I could go on and on but let me end by saying bon appétit and may I wish you along with Caroline and Madhu and the boys and Gopal and everyone in the kitchen happy and a full festive season.

Call 4263070, 4264187, 4254268.