Changing Times, New Flavors

Features Issue 186 May, 2017
Text by Barsa Thapa

There are many new restaurants coming up in Thamel; here are five that offer some great new flavors.

Thamel and its ever bustling streets has been the country’s, as well as foreigners’, go-to place since as long as we all can remember. One could not visit Nepal and not ask where Thamel is. Personally speaking, all of my cousins who come to visit from the UK tell me beforehand to take them to Thamel, and after reaching here, there’s only one question that is asked to me, “So, where to in Thamel?” 
Walking down the lane of Thamel, there are so many boards hung from every side of the buildings that reads names of restaurants in different ways. All of them are equally inviting and it becomes even more difficult to pick one to visit. Not to mention, the restaurants are adding up in number, making it even harder to choose a place to eat. The timid version of me and my cousins prefer to visit the restaurants that we’re familiar with and have eaten in several times, however, the braver side of us is keen to try out new places and make it our new favorite. To make it easier for not only me, but also others who are wanting to venture into new places in Thamel to try out some new delicacies, here are five new restaurants that have been on my list to visit. Maybe you’ll want to add them to yours, too!


Cafe with No Name: The first thing that attracts me to this quaint cafe, packed inside the busy streets of Thamel and only accessed by a narrow alley, is its name. “Cafe with No Name,” the name is enough for me to be attracted to it. But, that is not the best part of this cafe. One hundred percent of the profits earned by Cafe with No Name go to “Our Sansar’s Street Children” projects in every part of Nepal. The reason behind the establishment was with the sole purpose of raising awareness and encouraging Nepali people to lend a helping hand towards this selfless act of giving. The owners were helped by people back from their home country, UK,where a lot of foreigners were actually the ones who donated for the projects.
The place has an excellent ambience, with neutral colors being the focal point. The cafe is quiet and small, but it is actually a plus point as,because of it, it seems to be even cozier. Another fun little thing that goes by unnoticed is that there are several table-card holders with short facts, along with dreams of the children who are helped by Our Sansar. This makes the visit to this place even more special, knowing that you are helping a child reach one step further to their goals. They also serve Nepal’s first craft beer, and have a small sector dedicated to the finest wines, too. Try their famous Panini and Tofu Burger, while sipping a red wine, knowing that your money is not being wasted, but rather going into good hands. 
Location: Opposite of Purple Haze, Paryatan Marg, Thamel

Kathmandu Steak House: Steak is known to be an almost everyday choice of food for those in the West, just like we have our daal-bhaat. To bring more choice and ignite the foodie version of us that we’ve managed to tuck away, Kathmandu Steak House provides excellent steaks for all meat lovers. Located on the first floor of Hotel Trekkers’ Home, Kathmandu Steak House should be your next stop if you are in the mood for some juicy, grilled steak. Although their main dish is steak, the interior is nowhere near a typical American style inspired restaurant. The atmosphere almost looks like a fine dining place, with long tables that are placed from one part of the room to another. The restaurant is generously spacious, providing large amount of natural sunlight in. 
Their special, and most popular, steak is “Garlic Sauce Steak”. The restaurant’s steaks are portioned quite heavily, which will, without doubt, satisfy your hunger. Every ingredient chosen highlights the top quality of perfectly grilled steaks and the freshest of fish. Along with steak, it has also become a favorite place to enjoy pasta, soups, salads,sandwiches, and burgers, to name just a few. Despite having “Steak” in their name, they have not forgotten to add one more prominent Nepali dish to their menu, Nepali Thali! Their extensive choice of side and main dishes, along with appetizers and beverages, are made to make our taste buds happy. Also, they have a wide selection of board games to keep our minds distracted while our order is being prepared.
Location: Chaksibari Marg, Thamel

Thamel Doner Kebab: It is something a bit different than the other restaurants in this list. The place is incredibly small, and customers usually have a take out, but do not limit yourself to that. Thamel Doner Kebab is a great place for mouth-watering Middle Eastern and Turkish cuisine. It has perhaps the tastiest falafels found in Thamel. Starting as a small family business, Thamel Doner Kebab has been getting its well-deserved recognition slowly yet progressively. The main food served here are kebab and falafel, with fresh organic green vegetable in their wraps. 
They specialize in the preparation of the hummus, tahini, garlic sauce, salsa, and chimichuri sauce, which is made on the spot with a great amount of passion and dedication, which is obviously reflected in the taste. The bread is also prepared in the kitchen, and are fresh and soft, which makes the whole dish even tastier. Although there are as many options as at other restaurants, each item on the menu is great, and will not disappoint. The owners work in the restaurant themselves, and have a chit chat with every customer, making the visit even more worthwhile. The food is amazing and comes in big portions, and at very reasonable prices, all more reasons to visit this place for some mouth watering kebabs! 
Location: Chaksibari Marg, Thamel

Western Kitchen: Western Kitchen, as the name suggests, has a Western touch to it, starting from the entrance to every nook and corner of the place. The open kitchen gives customers a glimpse of how their food is being prepared. Recently established, Western Kitchen has proven its worth by attracting not only tourists, but also many locals, as well. It is a perfect place for a get-together with friends and family, and suitable when you need to hideaway from everyone else. 
The food is up to the mark, and the drinks, including organic coffee, are excellent. The price range is also surprisingly affordable; you can eat to your heart’s (stomach’s) content without having to wonder if your wallet will think so, too. The service is top-notch, with all the staff happy to answer and help with any queries which is, without doubt, very helpful. Western Kitchen also serves Asian food, which will always have a special place in our hearts. Its central location makes it an easy-to-drop-in place for every passerby. 
Location: J.P Road, Thamel

Shavi’s Fries: Only a few months into the game, Shavi’s Fries has already managed to win every foodie Instagrammer’s heart. Beginning with the interior and layout of the restaurant, the place is small but intimate. One side of the wall is covered with chalk drawings, notes, messages, and doodles that make it a perfect backdrop for an amazing picture, a winning feature! Besides that, Shavi’s Fries bring Berlin’s tasty delights to Nepal, a welcome change for people’s tastes. You have to try the fries when you come here—they are amazing and come with different sauces and sides,  and the staff are welcoming, too.
The best-selling item is Berlin Currywurst with Fries & Mayo, which is pork or chicken sausage with curry ketchup. The portion of the fries is good, and it's all full of bursting flavors. Although the fries are on the pricier side, the taste is so one-of-a-kind that it does not really matter. There is also an option for any sweet tooth foodies, who get to try churros, served with either white chocolate or dark chocolate dips. They are definitely something different than any other sweets we've had and a must try for everyone.
Location: Near Roots, the alley of Buddha Bar, Thamel