Opened in 1998 with the dual aim of preserving an historic building and showcasing Nepal’s food and culture, Bhojan Griha in Dillibazaar is a pretty special place. This amazing looking building was in fact originally built for royal priests 109 years ago. Founder Bharat Basnet is quick to give credit where credit is due, mentioning the Sunkoshi, among the first restaurants to serve Nepali cuisine in a high-end setting, and the now closed Bhancha Ghar that followed the tradition for many years. Now, Bhojan Griha has added even further to this concept by bringing together not just traditional, delicious food, but a selection of the best musical folklore, with authentic dances by various ethnic groups, and music performed on local instruments. This historic house has been lovingly and painstakingly restored, and each of its three floors features décor from a different Nepali era—Rana, Shah, and Malla. From the seating to the ceiling embellishments, it’s a little like stepping into a fascinating, interactive museum.
Bhojan Griha takes pride in being a zero-waste restaurant, shunning plastic bottles and packaging, and using nearly all organic food in its kitchen. The intricate décor, tableware, and fabrics are handcrafted, and part of the restaurant’s sustainability ethos and commitment to providing local jobs and supporting the local economy.
The food is hearty and warming—traditional dishes made well, and served by a cheerful, knowledgeable staff. Numerous courses include alu, mo:mo, and soup before the main full meal. Everything was fresh, delicious, and plentiful. The local rice wine (ai-la) served here is specially made for the restaurant in Thimi, and I found it to have a light, clean flavor that makes for very enjoyable drinking.
I was surprised to learn that Bhojan Griha never closes, but is open 365 days of the year for both lunch and dinner, though the cultural program is only featured at dinner. Numerous spacious halls are also available for private parties, seminars, weddings, and other events, adding a touch of historical class to your special moment, whatever it might be. During the high season time, reservations are strongly recommended, especially for a large number of people. Group discounts are available, too, and you’ll be happy to hear there is an extremely large parking area.
During my visit, it was wonderful to see large groups of tourists and locals alike enjoying this unique cultural experience—eating, laughing, and dancing together. Bhojan Griha is a great place for a family gathering, getting together with a group of friends, and a particularly impressive locale to bring visiting delegates of all kinds, and those who don’t have long to spend in Nepal. Coming here, you can experience the country all in one, a microcosm of the best of Nepal. Hospitality, music, dance, kindness, and best of all, delicious food!
Bhojan Griha, Dillibazaar, Kathmandu
Tel: 01-4416423, 4411603; 9841741948 (Samir KC)