If I return home with an extra 50lbs, I won’t be surprised. And I’m not talking souvenirs, because I don’t usually buy too many things while I’m travelling. The odd time I’ll pick up some artwork or a fridge magnet or possibly some coffee deliciousness (or maybe duty free), but it’s always limited in size and scope. That’s the beauty of travelling carry-on-only style – one can’t spend a lot on miscellaneous trinkets because one doesn’t have the space for them.
Point is, I’ve eaten like a king in Nepal. Even during the trek, where I had expected food to be limited in quality and quantity, I was surprised by the options before me. Daal Bhat, Tibetan bread with jams and honey, seriously delicious coffee, Sherpa stew, fried rice, curries, and the like. So many fantastic options, all consumed like they were going out of style. If I didn’t also hike at altitude for roughly 130km I’d probably be falling into some sort of gluttony related shame spiral.
And now that I’m in Kathmandu, the selection of delicious foodstuffs has increased as one would expect for a city of this size. With the related reduction in altitude based hiking, I’m also expecting my waistline to increase proportionally1.
Our first night in the city found us in the Road House. Alan, Rick, and Sanjay had some wood oven pizza, while I opted for what could best be described as a mostly vegetarian charcuterie board of Nepalese treats.
For New Year’s Eve, Rick, Alan, and I stuffed ourselves at Third Eye. I had a mixed feast of traditional Indian food. I probably should have written all of the individual components down, but since I didn’t maybe I’ll just have to return and have it again. Because scientific research demands repetition.
Last night, Rick and I met up with Timarian to have dinner at Rose Marie’s Kitchen & Cafe. While I opted for Scampolini chicken, the other two went for the 6 course, 1499 Nepalese rupee dinner. Or, in other terms, a 6 course fancy-pants dinner for roughly $15 US (including house wine and an appertif). Ah gluttony at its very best.
Beyond fantastic dinners, we’ve also enjoyed massive breakfasts at the hotel every morning because, well, it’s included in the room price.
Our lunches have also been rather huge and delicious. And if I’m spilling all of our deep, dark, gluttonous shame, we’ve been stopping in Himalayan Java like it’s the temple for which to worship at the altar of the holy bean. In most cases, our daily sessions have included oatmeal cookies or cake.
And finally, there’s the beer. While definitely not the greatest beer I’ve ever had, Everest, Nepal Ice, and Kathmandu varieties are rather refreshing. My favourite of the three is Everest – being the cleanest and most crisp of the three. It also doesn’t hurt that a 650ml bottle goes for about $3-$4US depending on the establishment.
Bottom line, the food here has been fantastic. In fact, I’ve mentioned numerous times that I’ve eaten better here than when I’m at home cooking for myself. And while that isn’t much of a challenge, it definitely doesn’t take away from the fantastic food I’ve had while visiting Nepal.
It also doesn’t take away from the fact that I might be 50lbs heavier when I return home.
1 Fortunately for me, I think I have actually lost weight on the trek. I’m basing this on the fact that I had to move up a belt notch while hiking. I have no idea how long that will last, however, given my current rate of gluttony and sloth.