Namaste! Can I get some milk coffee, curd yoghurt, cell, vegetable omelette, vegetable fry rice and maybe some lassi. How ‘bout you?
Chow Mein Buff!
It took us one week to finally get a good grip of Nepal’s foodstuff. My buddy always wanted his chow mein (fried noodles) and I’m always craving for the freshest curd yoghurt. Looking for some eateries that would satisfy both our cravings wasn’t an easy task.
I love Bhaktapur’s Durbar Square and the locals’ way of life. It feels like an old city that is resistant to the changes that are happening outside. The food scene is also as vibrant.
There’s this one particular eatery that opens up early in the morning. It’s difficult to check out a breakfast place at around six in the morning for the whole town seems to be dead to the world at this time. Just a few cartwheels away from Shiva Guesthouse, this unassuming eatery serves authentic Nepali fares for a few bucks.
We had some milk coffee, cell (doughnut-like bread that I got to taste first in Kathmandu) and chow mein (everything for 200 Rupees/US$ 2). There’s nothing phenomenal about their food here but the conversations we had with some locals were noteworthy. We got to chitchat with some of them who were born and raised in Bhaktapur and we really loved their stories about their hometown. It made that particular breakfast worth remembering.
|Milk Coffe and Cell (I love!)|
|Vegetable Chow Mein|
Next stop was a bakery/eatery near the Sidha Pokhari right outside Bhaktapur’s Durbar Square. This man-made pond was built in the early 15th century and is still being used by the devotees for holy dips during Ashwin Krishna Dwitiya (the next day after Indra Jatra Festival).
We had some cell, puri (similar to roti), pease (chick peas) and some milk lemon tea (everything at 94 Rupees/USD$ 0.94). I loved the cell, hated the pease and adored the milk lemon tea.
|Puri and Milk Lemon Tea|
And then off to our favorite of the bunch, the Tibetian Mo:Mo Corner Restaurant right outside Bhaktapur’s Durbar Square (a few steps away from Thagu Chhen Boutique Hotel). We were just walking around when we saw a huge signage that felt like a legit food place, we went into this dungeon-like entrance that led us to this unassuming eatery that serves nothing but nice Nepali dishes.
The manager/owner of the restaurant was eager to help us with the food choices. There were dozens of choices that we needed to be enlightened with everything (that’s why I love photographed menus). We wanted to just randomly pick anything but the manager helped us to go through the menu; such a lovely guy.
After battling for minutes, we ordered Vegetable Fry Rice, Buff Fry Rice, Masala Omelet, Sausage Chilly, Buff Chow Mein, Egg Thukpa and some lassi (everything at 440 Rupees/US$ 4.40). We were hoping that everything will turn out well and as the food came out from the kitchen, the manager tried to look at the reaction on our faces as we get to try each.
|Vegetable Fry Rice and Buff Fry rice|
And much to our surprise we totally loved everything. The manager, the cooks and even the diners were all waiting for our reaction as we try to savor the flavors of the dishes. They would smile with us as we take pleasure on simple joys of experiencing Nepali’s culture through their food.
We were so full after the food binge but squeezed in some curd yoghurt (35 Rupees/US$ 0.35) that was being sold right outside the eatery’s entrance. I’m really not a fan of yoghurts but when I got to taste the fresh ones in Nepal, I was instantly a convert.
|The freshest curd yoghurt!|
We went back at our new favorite food place the next day to try some new dishes. We fell in love with this restaurant for the wide assortment of foodstuff on their menu. And as expected, we were greeted by the manager and asked us of our cravings for that day.
He handed out the menu and the hardest part of choosing happened next. We ordered MoMo Fried Buff, MoMo Egg Steam, Buff Chopsuey, Fry Rice, Prown, Egg Pakopa and some sodas (everything at 530 Rupees/US$ 5.30).
|MoMo Fried Buff and MoMo Egg Steam|
And just like the day before, we were lost for words as we try the dishes one by one. Even the cooks were all smiles as we enjoy the fruits of their labor. We loved everything except for the MoMo which we also didn’t enjoy that much in Kathmandu but nonetheless, experiencing Bhaktapur’s food scene was truly an experience in itself.