Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hot Pots on Brian's Birthday

Well my birthday isn't for another week or so, but another Brian had his birthday the other day. Strangely enough his fiancé's name is Kim and they are from the states as well. So they are the other Brian and Kim. Nice people, and like everyone we meet here seem interesting and are good to have conversations with.

Above is a picture of Kim and I with the other Brian. For his birthday we
accompanied about eight other people to Hotel New Gajur - Hot Pot Restaurant. This was the most authentic Chinese restaurant I have been to, and though I have seen the hot pot thing on TV I had never eaten at one. Brian, who spent a couple of years in Hong Kong said this place was the real deal, so I was excited to give something new a try. The basic concept is food is brought out to you raw, and then it is dropped into this pot with a slow rolling boil. One side of the pot has a spicy mixture, the other side is more tame, with stock and some veggies in it.
Here is a close up picture of the pots getting to a boil with a bunch of stuff being thrown in. Once the stuff was cooked you just took it out with a ladle and put it over rice. Now beign authentic Chinese of course we had to order some rather strange things that you don't get at your corner Chinese food place back in the States. So on the menu tonight? Thinly sliced pork, spinach, pork dumplings, tofu, seaweed, chicken feet and brains from some animal.
The general reception of the idea of eating brains is summed up by Jenara's expression in the photo above. Aside from the brains and the chicken feet the rest was tame, and mixed in with some Chinese liquor that tasted like ouzo, some green tea, and a good number of large beers, everyone had a good meal.
Here are the chicken feet before being tossed into the pot. Back when I worked at the Back Bay Grill in Portland they would boil down the chicken feet for their collagen, and I can not think of a smell more foul then long boiled chicken feet. So with that in the back of my mind it made eating the chicken feet a little tougher than it should have been for me. I gave it an honest try and gnawed around some bones, but really it was the texture didn't do anything for me and their just didn't seem to be enough meat to make the effort worth the trouble of chewing around the bones. I'd give them another try maybe, but wouldn't order them myself.
Brains. Well not all that bad. These picked up the flavor of the broth fairly well, but the meat itself wasn't something that had a great taste to it. In fact if it hadn't been cooked in that spicy broth it may have been not worth eating. I had a couple pieces and in the broth it was actually good.

Best part of the whole thing was that all ten of us ate, had drinks and everything only came to like 3,500 NRS. This seems really cheap for what a cool experience it was, how much food we ate and how many drinks we got. Will definitely stop by this place again. Thanks to everyone for a great time.


  1. Chicken feet! I love chicken feet! The "meat" between the toes is soo good. Add some dried blood and it is heavenly.
    Personally I am not a fan of the hot pot type restaurants where you cook your own food. I went to 10 of them or so. The food I cook sucks.

  2. Chippay! chicken feet toe meat? tastes like chicken.

  3. If you aren't a fan Chip, then why did you go 10 times?! After about the third or fourth I may have weened myself off them if it wasn't something I enjoyed. Somehow I can't picture you eating chicken feet.

  4. Hi Brian, I came across your blog and really enjoy it. I spent last year (2009) in Nepal and your blog reminds me of all the wonderful things and of course the trials and tribulations.

    I am not sure what part of KTM you are living in, but some things you may want to check out... If you haven't already found it..

    Bhat Bhateni (for all your department store needs - they have a good selection of recognizeable foods for ex-pats)

    Buzz (restaurant located a few minutes walk north of Bhat Bhateni in Baluwatar) Good food and a great place to relax. Ask for Bikash who owns the place, he is a great guy. Tell him Courtney referred you.

    Coffee shops... if you are looking for a good coffee shop to hang out and relax and surf the internet at high speeds... Cafe Kaldi in Thamel is great. It was the one place where I could actually download at high speeds (upwards of 300 Kbps). They have good coffee but not the greatest food. Himalayan Java Cafe at the entrance of Thamel has good coffee, good food, but not so great internet speeds.

    And a good sign for your lost in translation blog. There is a restaurant on the Ring Road to the east of Bhat Bhateni called The Ring of Fire restaurant. That one made me laugh.

    Keep up the good writing...



  5. Hey Courtney,

    Thanks a bunch for the suggestions. We have found Bhat Bhateni, and bought most of our appliances there. We will however have to look up Buzz, that sounds great and should only be a little ways north of us by your description. I have to stop by Thamel occasionally for meetings so that would be a good time to check out the coffee shops.

    As for that sign on the ring road I will definitely keep my eye out for that one. Menu's and signs here are a never ending source of entertainment for us.

    Thanks so much for your comment, and hope you stop by to check in on us again some time.


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