FooDiva’s last supper…in Nepal
Kathmandu; Given FooDiva’s mission was to sample cuisine from as many countries as possible in Nepal, last night I opted for Thai. I chose Yin Yang because it shared the same owner as Third Eye (the previous night’s Indian treat), and is renowned in Kathmandu as the best Thai, if not the best restaurant in town.
I started with ‘BBQ pork chop slices’ marinated and barbequed – served with Thai chilli sauce and a sweet and sour relish. Somehow I had visions of a dish similar to succulent spare ribs, but the pork was tough and dry – perhaps excusable if it had no fat, but it certainly did.
My main course was their signature dish, and FooDiva’s Thai fave, ‘green chicken curry with pumpkin and eggplant’, accompanied by steamed rice. What a contrast…tender slithers of chicken breast with plenty of pumpkin cubes and sliced eggplant in that delicious green curry paste and coconut milk sauce.
You’ve probably gathered from my blog so far that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth – but for some reason I craved dessert and selected their only ‘Thai’ sweet dish, ‘deep fried bananas’. I was expecting a light tempura batter, but it certainly was deeply fried – I could only stomach half a banana. Sadly there was no ice-cream accompaniment to drown the batter. With two glasses of Australian red (every restaurant seems to serve the same Shiraz), the bill came to just under AED 120 – still a bargain, but not somewhere I would rush back to.
Well that was my last Nepali supper, it’s nearly time to head back home. But before I sign off, I must tell you a little more about Kantipur Temple House, my Kathmandu home for the last few days.
A 48-room boutique hotel set in a quiet side street, just ten minutes walk from bustling Thamel, Kantipur Temple House, was built 12 years ago to mimic the style of a Newari temple – with several pieces of architecture original to that period. But its USP is its eco-friendly attributes. I met the owner, Bharat Basnet, who is effusively trying to champion sustainable tourism for Nepal. Food is mostly organic with herbs from its own garden. Products such as the in-room soap amenities are all eco-friendly, no plastic is used…guests are given a cloth bag for shopping. He is working towards installing solar panels to power the hotel, which will also help alleviate Nepal’s reliance on electricity and if more establishments embrace this, perhaps put an end one day to the country’s power shortage. And for US$80 a night, what more could you want?
Now did Nepal live up to my foodie expectations? Overall yes, and incredibly good value for money as long as you do your research and don’t just walk into any eaterie. People are so hospitable, with service second to none. The political situation is currently stable so it’s extremely safe. The medieval cities are all great walking destinations – just beware the mopeds don’t run you over! Solo travellers, female included, will find plenty of company should they want it. I would love to return and eat my way further into the depths of Nepal.
Until my next adventure. A bientôt.