THE MOVEABLE FEAST: Coffee Shop reopens


The tradition was when two Kathmanduwallahs met on the streets of London, Paris or New York, they’d part saying they’d meet next in The Annapurna Coffee Shop. True for the 70’s and 80’s, and true once more in the new bigger, better more stream lined Coffee Shop, where Chef Ajay Pathak has put together an innovative menu.

As we nibbled with delight the fiery Buffalo Wings, that were first made at the Anchor Bar on North Street, Buffalo in upstate New York, Chef Pathak said, “I have a great Indian restaurant Ghar-e-Kebab and a popular Chinese restaurant Araniko room, so in my Coffee Shop I have concentrated on Western food. It would be fantastic if the already popular Buffalo Wings are used as a snacks for drinks. I am thinking of calling them Hot Wings as they are referred to in the Southern US.”

Chef has taken the classic Corn Chowder from America, and instead of green pepper has used cilantro, which makes for an unusual elusive taste and you chase after it to put in a name to the flavour.

“It’s my favourite soup,” said Chef Pathak.

Suresh Shakya served us the Hamburger, which was juicy, luscious, correctly moist and truly soft bread housed the patty that the Mongols in 1209 used to grind under their saddles, and which the people of the Port Hamburg, Germany adopted. In America, in 1904, one Fletcher Davis and his wife Ciddy made a ground meat sandwich and sold it at the World’s Fair from Old Dave’s Hamburger’s Stand.

Chef Pathak remained true to the Hamburger tradition with a layer of bacon, some lettuce and a touch of mayonnaise making the Annapurna Hamburger amongst the best in town.

Kamal brought on The Giant, Chef Pathak’s interpretation of a classic club sandwich for which he uses a specially made soft bread, and in traditional fashion doesn’t have a third layer but fills the layer between the two pieces of melt-in-your-mouth bread with iceberg lettuce, chicken, bacon and mayonnaise. You crunch into The Giant’s many tastes and you are back at the turn of 20th century in America and the club cars on the trains where they were created and the great Lucius Beebe saying, “I could eat a club for lunch every single day”.

Hira served the Steak and Mushroom Pie. I do not believe that the words British cuisine are mutually exclusive, and British Pies are amongst my favourite dishes. Descended from the Steak and Kidney Pie, Chef Pathak’s Steak and Mushroom Pie was a rich stew made of meat and mushrooms and onions and wine, browned in butter. And then reduced to wondrous thickness and semi-covered unusually by flaky pastry — not the traditional crust pastry, both of which came to Europe from the Crusades in the 12th century. It was a filling dish and I offended the restaurant by dunking pieces of the pastry in the stew’s zestiness.

The Ballotine is meat that has been boned, stuffed, rolled, tied in a bundle and poached or braised. Chef Pathak uses a force mince stuffing seasoned with wine, broth and perhaps tarragon as is required in the original recipe. The pepper is distinct.

On the menu the Ballotine is down as Stuffed Chicken Leg with Red Wine and Mushrooms.

There are nearly 100 dishes on the menu. There are grills, pizzas and pastas and desserts, and a sub-continental section. Order anything from the Mexican Chicken Salad to Calcutta’s Kaathi Rolls, and be assured it will be Pathakly delicious. Call 4221711.

There are nearly 100 dishes on the menu — grills, pizzas, pastas to desserts, and a

sub-continental section. Order anything from the Mexican Chicken Salad to Calcutta’s Kaathi Rolls, and be assured it will be delicious