THE MOVEABLE FEAST - Nuovo Marcopolo: Genuinely Italian


I am sitting eating a new dish, Spaghetti Aglio Olio Pepperoncino and with me is half the Italian embassy from Delhi. The dish is subtly spicy made up of olive oil, fried garlic and red chilies. Robbie whose real name is Battista Rubiolo from Turin serves me and converts me forever.

That was 20 years ago in Locanda Marcopolo and now I am sitting and making up for lost time in Nuovo Marcopolo. “I never left Nepal”, said Robbie. “I’d bring groups here and then Suman Pandey asked me to be his partner in Nuovo Marcopolo and here I am.” The “here” is in a road leading into Thamel from the Malla Hotel and we are sitting in the garden alive with Italian herbs. Fragrance fills the air.

Robbie and Chef Bagh Singh Tamang have six spaghetti and five Tagliatelle dishes each more delicious than the last. Like Robbie’s Bruschetta Con Mozzarella which is bread, tomato’s, black pepper and olive oil cooked together so that the piquancy of the tomato comes through the cheese.

Robbie presented an Insulate Di Funghi where garlic, crisp capsicum olive oil and oregano made mushrooms gorgeously hoardable again. “Try my Pesto” said Robbie bringing on the green wonder of mashed basil, walnut and kanchen cheese that has a sharp taste but a mellow after flavour. You get a Parma ham and Parmesan cheese. Parma is also known for Opera and the dish with delicate eggplant, cheese, tomato, garlic, breadcrumbs and basil called Melanzane Alla Parmigiana. The simplicity of the Parma dish with its accent on its Melanzane or eggplant is unforgettable and is Robbie’s finest flourish… is his Pollo Alla Diavola or Devils chicken which is flattened, roasted with garlic, rosemary, chilli and olive oil and is a heady is Robbie’s Capretto Al Forno which is roast meat with garlic made in an oven . All Robbie’s baked dishes from the Melanzane to the ten wondrous Pizza’s have that authentic touch of Italy.

...for dessert Yubraj, who has worked in all the Italian restaurants I have been to, brought on the slightly addictive Zuccotto which is shaped like an archbishop’s cap. You have sponge cake covering dream ice-creams, vanilla, chocolate, a little rum and raisins. Like Marcopolo who brought the first “ice-cream” from China to Italy Robbie is going to bring the best Italian food and cheese (he’s making Gorgonzola) to Kathmandu. They say you never grow old at Italian dining tables, at Robbie’s you stay forever young.

For authentic Italian comfort food contact the efficient Umesh Thapa at 4413724.