So the other night we met up with Akshay at Wunjala Moskva for a taste of some good Newari food and to discuss a possible business venture. It was night time so my pictures don't begin to do the place justice. Positioned just across from the police headquarters in Naxal, the restaurant has a great location set back from the main street with a very large open garden area. At the center is a raised stage where during our visit Newari musicians and dancers periodically performed. The open dining with the well maintained garden and the architecture, at least made to look like classical Newari, gave the place heaps of atmosphere and is a nice place to relax as we move into the warmer months.
Now I got so caught up in conversation that I completely forgot to take any pictures of the food, so I had to steal the above picture from their website. Since the picture was divided into four JPG files I also got to practice my photo editing skills to piece it together, mission accomplished. I got the non-vegetarian set course dinner and this is essentially what the main part of the meal looked like. It also came with a few starter dishes as well as soup.
Nepal seems the odd man out in Asia when it comes to food for the most part. Most local Nepali food lacks the rich sauces of India, the sheer variety of tastes of a place like Thailand or the vastness of Chinese food. Newari food is some of the only food I've had in Nepal that could really be described as cuisine. It has it's own unique flavors and some of the dishes use some surprising ingredients to really good effect. There is a use of organ meats, along with a larger array of spices and varied preparation styles of food that add a really nice variety to the meal.
As we got to the restaurant a little early we started with a couple of drinks and and were served a snack that was soy beans cooked with ginger, garlic and spices. Really tasty stuff. Kim just got a pumpkin curry and some rice, while my meal seemed to come in about six or seven courses. I got a few grilled meats (really good) some lentil pancakes, momos (steamed dumplings), apparently I ate tongue at some point, pan fried stuffed lung, some fairly tasty vegetable and lentil based soup and then the main course. Rice, pumpkin curry, vegetables cooked with cumin seed, chicken in a spicy curry, duck with ginger, takari (curried veggies), some fried fish and maybe some other things that I'm leaving out. For desert we were brought a yogurt that had honey and fruit in it, which was quite good. Everything was well prepared, and I enjoyed all of it.
These terrible dark pictures really don't do the place justice. From our table you can see that it is a wide open very attractive garden that is illuminated with well placed lighting to give great atmosphere. This picture shows some of the musicians and dancers heading over to the central stage area.
This even worse picture, shows some musicians on the central stage area. You can see the other dining areas, almost bungalow like structures, that surround the garden. Akshay, who's family is involved in the restaurant's ownership, is building a lounge to the rear of the restaurant. Set behind the garden area by a pond, they are going for a very modern Miami style theme, and even bringing in sand for a beach like feel. The location looks great and with the water and all the plants, an open lounge would be a great place to hang out in the summer months. They are moving toward a Mayish opening date for the lounge.
Anyway an over all fun experience and I'm sure Kim and I will stop back from time to time. For those of you getting tired of the stint of food posts I promise to have some other stuff on here soon. Kim and I are planning to go to Nagrakot for the weekend, it's kind of a resort style area on the top of the eastern ridge of the Kathmandu valley, and is one of the closest places where on a clear day you can see Everest and the other large Himalayan peaks in its company. So we will be heading there with Marc and Helen, and hopefully do some light hiking. Hopefully we can get some nice photos.