Shishir Sharma is the owner and CEO of Get Ahead Trading Pvt Ltd. An activist against air pollution, he is interested in travelling to new places and trekking in the remote areas of Nepal
I have been a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine ever since I started hanging out with my Saudi friends. These dishes are loaded with vitamins and nutrients, and prepared with a blend of mouth-watering spices, flavourful herbs, and fresh, healthy ingredients.
On a Saturday evening I went to OR2K located in Thamel with a friend from Saudi Arabia. The restaurant was packed, however, the manager guided us to a reserved table since my friend was a regular customer there. Luckily our table was in the corner, I can’t imagine dining while having a view of shoes and their smell. But I liked that the restaurant has arranged separate space for smokers and non-smokers.
The ambience was fantastic for winter — it is one of the few places with a wooden stove that warms up the restaurant. This really adds to the ambience.
We started our night with Turkish coffee, Fattoush (Lebanese salad), and Falafel. The salad was good and well-served. The Falafel had deep fried garbanzo bean balls and was served with Hummus and Israeli salad. Hummus was one of the best I have ever had. The cucumber was bitter, which sort of gave a funny taste to the Fattoush.
Then we ordered Moroccan Veg Tagine as the main dish. It was served within 20 minutes, it was a bit fast as it takes almost more than an hour to make the real Moroccan Tagine. However, it tasted good.
We ended our night with mint tea — we were pleasantly surprised to see real mint leaves put in the tea.
The ambience, and food of OR2K are of high quality. It is arguably the best Middle Eastern restaurant in Kathmandu,
considering the limited choices in terms of great international cuisine here.
However, the service of the restaurant is one of the worst. After our starter, we asked for a glass of water, which never arrived. Then we asked for the menu which arrived five minutes later but no one came to take our order. After waiting for more than 20 minutes we had to call the waiter ourselves. We asked for lemon and olive oil to spice up our Lebanese salad, however the waiter came with juice of lemon mixed in olive oil. We had to ask him again to bring them separately, but by the time olive oil and lemon arrived, we were almost done with the salad.
Apart from the disorganised service, the restaurant is still one of the best in Kathmandu in terms of great food, ambience, cosy seating arrangement, and free Wi-Fi.
Would I go to this restaurant again? Yes, however I would sit near the counter next time so that I don’t have to scream for the waiters.
OR2K is a vegetarian restaurant, though I am a meat lover I enjoyed the food. It specialises in Middle Eastern cuisine, but you also get continental cuisine like pizza, spaghetti. They also serve Nepalis’ all time favourite Dal Bhat.
Quality of service:1
Value for money: 8
Overall satisfaction value: 7
A version of this article appears in print on February 11, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.