Too quiet an ambience in noisy corridor

Purna Lama is an educator, motivational speaker who enjoys reading, travelling and photography

The enthusiasm and excitement faded away as we headed and closed in towards Karuwa Restaurant and Bar located at Hotel Bliss International, Jyatha. Possibility of parking at the hotel premises looked bleak, so walking and traversing the narrow alley off Kantipath leading towards the Karuwa restaurant seemed like the best option. We entered Karuwa Restaurant and took our seats from among 14 empty tables located on the ground floor of the hotel. The small and not-so-well decorated space comprising a small glittering bar with a coffee maker and a smattering of hotel guests all taken care of by the bartender/waiter defined the restaurant.

Things didn’t look extremely encouraging. After running through the menu, offering Italian, Continental, Chinese, Indian and Nepali cuisine we settled on Fried Trout Fish, Pork grilled and Caesar Salad as starters. Unavailability of trout and pork made us replace the order with Chicken Fry Nepali style, Bass Tawa and Caesar Salad. The long wait of nearly 17 minutes was interrupted in between when the bartender voluntarily passed us the Wifi password, which was again extremely slow.

Bass Tawa was served first followed by the Chicken Fry Nepali style and Caeser Salad. The food was not up to the mark. The fish and chicken were salty — it felt as though it was dipped in a salt sauce before being fried, accompanied by a similar tasting sauce, the word inedible was the common denominator. Caesar Salad was the redeeming factor as freshly sliced apple and seasoning complemented the palate. The cutlery, quarter plates were laid out haphazardly. The bartender/waiter’s appearance and attitude reflected he wasn’t trained and did his best by covering up with the usual humble Nepali style smiling.

The main courses were next — Chicken Sizzler, Chicken Chopsuey and Manchurian Chicken. By then some tired looking tourists entered the restaurant and were seated next to us. Three tourists and three Nepalis were all that were to be seen that evening. Everything from the wall decor to table layout to flooring seemed in poor taste at Karuwa. It gave the feel of a meditation centre — it was quiet and laid-back and slow paced. The washroom floor was wet and had no towels.

When the food arrived, the Sizzler did not sizzle. It was a limp, no heat, no aroma, just a pretension. Chopsuey and Manchurian Rice were just about manageable, perhaps by then we were hungry and in a more forgiving mood. We stepped in to another place around Naxal to wind up the evening.

Would I recommend it to a friend? I am not too sure. For the quiet ambience in the noisy corridor of Thamel ... probably yes!


Karuwa Restaurant and Bar

Ambience: 3

Food quality: 3

Presentation: 2

Hygiene: 4

Value for money: 5

Overall satisfaction: 3.5