Shashanka Chitrakar is Visualiser at JWT Thompson Nepal. Apart from art direction and UI/UX design, he loves graphic novels, movies, and pizza
Tabela, originally a horse stable at some point in history, is now a rather popular restaurant in Naxal. With ample parking space, one doesn’t need to take the hassle of hunting for parking space. This garden restaurant is spacious, with the garden scattered with tables, a coffee lounge, an indoor area with couches and another indoor area with a regular restaurant set-up.
The ambience is very peaceful in contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city outside. However, the worn out and rather untidy tents in the garden is an eyesore to the otherwise pleasant sight.
As I took a seat in one of the garden tables, a waiter was there to attend me in no time. They are not the most smartly dressed but are definitely polite and courteous, and quick. They served a glass of water as they handed out the menu.
The first thing I noticed about the menu — it was worn out with the plastic lamination peeling off. Now this might seem unimportant but it is the little things that add to the overall experience.
After going through their extensive menu, I ordered a serving of Mushroom Chilli for starters, Roast Chicken In Brown Sauce served with mashed potatoes, Vegetable Pakodas, and Hot Lemon With Ginger And Honey.
Just 14 minutes later, the Mushroom Chilli arrived. I was very pleased with what I saw — it was well presented and looked very appetising. The taste did not disappoint either; a little too tangy for my taste but definitely well made.
Five more minutes later, the Roast Chicken arrived. Again, it was very well presented and covered in a delicious looking sauce. As I cut into the chicken expecting it to be soft and succulent, I was disappointed. The meat looked like it had been deep fried instead of roasted and it took the strength of 10 men to cut through. The meat was annoyingly tough. However, the sauce was great and it did taste good. The mashed potatoes too was satisfying though it did not have the fine texture that one would expect.
The Pakodas were well made and not greasy.
My visit to Tabela left me with mixed feelings — the ambience was great but few things here and a few things there just seemed to drag it down to mediocrity. The food was definitely good, but I must add an exception thanks to the rock hard “roasted” chicken. The service was quick and more than satisfactory. They were also kind enough to provide extra sauce for my meal.
Though not the tidiest set-up in the Valley it seemed hygienic enough. Overall, it was a satisfying experience! The place certainly has potential to be great.
Quality of service: 8
Value for money: 6
Overall satisfaction value: 6.2
A version of this article appears in print on February 04, 2000 of The Himalayan Times.