Dinner at the Krishnarpan Restaurant in Kathmandu, Nepal

posted in: ASIA, FOOD HYSTERIA | 19

Entering the Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu is like entering your most beautiful dream: The traditional Nepali architecture surrounds the Krishnarpan restaurant, situated in a huge exotic and peaceful courtyard. The soft lights illuminate the majestic garden with many fragrant trees and flowers, while the red bricks of the imperial buildings all around the courtyard create a scenic atmosphere.

“It’s all about the experience”, smiles Sonam, the young sales manager of the restaurant that welcomed us in the heartiest way. And what an experience, guys! Not only did we have one of the best dinners in our lives, but we were a part of something that goes beyond the food. Keep reading and find out what’s so special about that night.

The history of the Krishnarpan Restaurant

Krishnarpan Restaurant Kathmandu dining room
Krishnarpan Restaurant – Wonderful dining table

The Krishnarpan is one of the three restaurants of the Dwarika’s Hotel. From the waitresses’ dresses to the choice of cutlery, the smallest details have been chosen with great care. “We want to represent the diversity of Nepal in our restaurant. For example, the dresses of our waitresses represent the different traditional costumes of the many Nepali ethnic groups”, Sonam explained to us. “We wanted to create a culinary trip for our guests, so they don’t need to travel all around Nepal to taste all the dishes of our country”.

So the food is obviously important, but there is much more. The music in the background is traditional Nepalese, the furniture is elegant, and most important everyone is always smiling and happy to take care of you. In the Nepalese culture, there is a proverb: “Treat your guest as a God”. That’s how we felt while having a dinner at the Krishnarpan restaurant! Before jumping into the description of the dishes, there are two more things to know:

1 – Before entering the dining room, the kind staff will ask you to take off your shoes. The chairs are low, basically at the floor level, for a specific reason. It’s half way between sitting on the floor, as per the Nepalese tradition, and sitting on a normal chair like us westerners do. Fair enough!

2 – You can eat with the cutlery or with your hands, preferably the right one. This is the Nepalese tradition and an important part of the food culture, and if you want to have a more authentic experience, you should try to use your hands. We did eat with our hands and we don’t regret it at all! It’s fun and the food tastes different. Without the contact with the cold steel of the spoon or the fork, it’s another thing.

What’s on the menu?

Offering the food to Krishna
Offering the food to Krishna

The Krishnarpan restaurant offers different choices to the lucky guests: The chef created exclusive menus of 6 to 22 courses, everything with organic products from the Dwarika’s own farms. If the season is not right to grow a particular product, they buy it from trusted suppliers, and it’s again organic. So the food is not just too tasty to be true, but it’s also healthy.

We had the 6 courses menu and it was more than enough to satisfy our always hungry stomachs. The perfumes and fragrances of the dishes are sometimes surprising, and always delicious. Sweet notes are balanced by spicy bites, and the use of spices is perfectly mastered. Now stop talking and let’s eat: So, what did we have that was so good?

1- Samaya Bajee

Assortments of “Hors D’Oeuvres” served during religious ceremonies.

Starters Samaya Bajee
Samaya Bajee

The entree is a mix of beaten rice, spiced buffalo meat, lentils pancake, two kinds of beans, fried potato and hard boiled egg. First of all, take a little bit of everything and place it on a tiny plate shaped as a leaf in front of you. It is an offer to Krishna (the Hindu God of love and compassion). The way of eating this dish is simple: Mix a bit of everything with the crunchy beaten rice and eat it. We especially loved the buffalo meat, freshly spiced and super soft. The crunchy notes of the beaten rice make the dishes always interesting and never boring.

2 – Mixed dish

Chyau Ko Sekuwa (roasted mushrooms), Puri (deep-fried soft fine flour bread) and Setup Similar Ko Tarkari (white beans curry)

Chyau Ko Sekuwa, Puri, and Setup Similar Ko Tarkari
Chyau Ko Sekuwa, Puri, and Setup Similar Ko Tarkari

The second dish is actually a mix of three elements. They are all served warm, and they have a delicate taste. The technique here is to take a piece of the fried bread and wrap either the mushrooms or the beans, before eating it. Again, we noticed the delicate taste of the food: The mushrooms were creamy and absolutely delicious, balanced between sweet and pepperish. And the fried bread is always hearty!

3 – Buffalo momo

Buffalo dumplings

buff momo Krishnarpan
The Momo are just perfect

If we had to choose our favourite dish served at this divine banquet, it would be these stunning momos. Definitely the best ones in Nepal! Momo is the name of the typical Nepalese and Tibetan dumplings: They can be filled with vegetables, cheese or meat, then steamed or deep fried. The Krishnarpan momo were filled with spiced buffalo meat, and accompanied by a sweet, sour and slightly spicy sauce. There are no words to describe how good they were! The pastry was smooth and the meat tender, with a well balanced mix of spices. Something to die for!

4 – Tarkari Ko Jhol

Vegetable soup

Veg soup kathmandu
Veggie soup: refreshing!

This soup came as unexpected as appreciated. It is made from seasonal, organic vegetables, and it can often change. Ours was green, with potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, and a bunch of fresh herbs. Healthy, delicious and creamy!

5 – Dal Bhat

Nepalese national dish

Dal Bhat Krishnarpan
Dal Bhat: Outrageously delicious

We’ve been writing about this dish since our second day in Nepal, when we took part in a cooking class just outside Kathmandu. It’s the national dish and all Nepalese love it: The same for the travelers like us! During our trip, we looked for the best Dal bhat in the country, trying many of them. You know what? The one of Krishnarpan restaurant is obviously one of the best ones. This came as no surprise, at this point!

“We serve Dal Bhat in a traditional copper plate: In Nepal we think that it makes your life longer!”, Sonam explained to us. Another proof that everything here has its own significance and nothing is left to casualty.
This version of the dish mixes traditional ingredients with some regional specialties. The first innovation is that we actually found two kinds of rice, basmati and brown rice, instead of the more common “white long grain” rice. As always, we mixed the rice with the other elements, such as:

  • Dal: Lentil soup with Himalayan herbs;
  • Chicken curry;
  • Vegetable curry;
  • Sauteed spinach with Nepalese spices;
  • Stir-fried cauliflower and green peas;
  • Two kinds of Pickles (Achar).

We immediately realized how good it was! All the variety and diversity of the tastes was pure poetry. Salty, spicy, sweet, sour, crunchy and soft: Every bite is different from the previous one. The pickles were unforgettable: Small purple plums, sweet and sour, smooth and soft like the Nepalese Cashmere Pashmina.

6 – Dessert

Yogurt with pumplin pudding

yogurt pumpkin pudding kathmandu
The perfect way to end the dinner

After having eaten so much, we were a bit scared about having a dessert as well. But we never let our stomachs stop ourselves, so we went for it. It was a light cream made of yogurt, with a selection of fresh fruits on one side and a pumpkin pudding on the other. Guess what? It was the perfect way to close the dinner. The yogurt was light and just slightly sweet, and the pumpkin was great. With butter, sugar and raisins it reminded us a little of​ the Indian carrots pudding. We could eat it every day without getting bored.

Bonus: The after dinner

In Nepal, it is a tradition to chew and eat something to refresh your mouth, after lunch or dinner. Usually it’s a bunch of fennel seeds with a bit of sugar, but at the Krishnarpan restaurant they like to overcome the expectations. Take a look at the plate of marvel:

Candies and spices
Candies and spices

The skillful waitress composed for each of us a different mix of spices, sweets and digestive seeds, placing it directly​ on our palms. The taste was surprising! It really refreshed and cleaned our mouths. We had to try some other different pieces of sweets and spices, just like curious kids.

After a black tea, the moment of the farewell came. Not before receiving the last gift: A small red brick, like the one used to build the place, with different traditional decorations. Zuzana got a lotus flower, the symbol of peace and wisdom: It’s also the meaning of her first name, such a coincidence. Or maybe not?

Our dinner at the Krishnarpan restaurant was one of the best experiences of our lives, one of those things we’ll remember when we are old. The warmth they welcomed and treated us with, will make us come back. If you’re looking for a unforgettable night, be sure to pay them a visit when in Kathmandu! Check their website and the contact page for more details.

*Krishnarpan Restaurant provided us with a complimentary dinner. As always, all opinions and all photos are our own.*

19 Responses

  1. Sanyam
    | Reply

    It’s great to know about Nepal’s culture and if its about food then I’ll promise you that I’ll go and love to have a meal here whenever I’ve been to Kathmandu

    • Enri & Zuz
      | Reply

      Hey Sanyam, you should really go and try all these great dishes!

  2. Tina
    | Reply

    Wow that restaurant looks really good! I always found it strange that some countries eat woth their hands but I guess it is the easiest way and if you arevised it… the food looks really delicious!

  3. Niranjana
    | Reply

    Can’t you take a photo of those waitress? I’m so curious!!!

    • Enri & Zuz
      | Reply

      Hahaha we were thinking about it but were worried they might get offended. Anyway, we truly loved how they were dressed!

  4. Nepali Cuisine has always amazed me. I will definitely try reaching this place when I go to Nepal Soon. Thanks for your suggestion

    • Enri & Zuz
      | Reply

      Hello Asad, thank you very much for your feedback. It is indeed a unique experience plus we guarantee that you won’t leave hungry 😀

  5. eazynazy
    | Reply

    OMG This looks like a Royal Dinner <3 I really loved the presentation of the food and it made me feel hungry now lol. Whenever I'm in Nepal, I will surely visit this beautiful place 🙂

    • Enri & Zuz
      | Reply

      Yes, for sure no king would have to be ashamed of eating there! 😀

  6. Natasha
    | Reply

    This restaurant looks wonderful. I have never tried Napali food

    • Enri & Zuz
      | Reply

      Hello Natasha, you should! It is very tasty! 🙂

  7. Reginald Agsalon
    | Reply

    The place is interesting and the food looks good and salivating. I wish someday I will have a chance to visit Nepal.

    • Enri & Zuz
      | Reply

      You should go Reginald, Nepal is truly beautiful and surprising. And this restaurant is worth a trip!

  8. Bertahan Luxing
    | Reply

    Great selection of dishes. I love Nepalese food, even if my stomach disagrees sometimes.

    • Enri & Zuz
      | Reply

      Hey Bertahan, at Krishnarpan restaurant the cuisine is tasty and light. Sometimes Nepalese food can be heavy, as well as other food in the world, especially if deep fried 🙂

  9. lawrence
    | Reply

    This is a great review, holistic I may say. Sadly I`d never tried Nepalese food but some look like Filipino dishes. May be same ingredients and preparation. I`d try that dishes the time my itchy foot brought me to Nepal

    • Enri & Zuz
      | Reply

      Now you have a good reason to come to Nepal then 🙂

  10. Turkey travel journal
    | Reply

    Wow, i love the plates that they use for service. Would love to try.However portion sizes are small for me 🙂

    • Enri & Zuz
      | Reply

      There is also a menu of 22 courses, if you want to try it 🙂 The portions were quite large actually, considering the fact that you can also have seconds!

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