The temperatures are dropping in Kathmandu, so it’s important to soak up the warmth of the sunshine whenever you can. Below are three newly opened or reopened garden restaurants in town. They each have a unique feel, and all are sensational spots for dining in the sun, and then snuggling up to a warm fire when the evening chill sets in.
The Bent Fork
The semi-coordinated waggle of doggy love bounding across the large lawn was my very warm welcome to The Bent Fork. Ayesha the owner reopened two months ago in a new, bigger location in Bishal Nagar, with both inside and garden seating.
The continental menu has you covered for late brunch, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast options include cinnamon vanilla French toast, crepes, and a breakfast burrito (dear to my Californian heart). Lunchy things include large organic Asian-inspired salads, or a long list of burgers- from a jalapeno popper beef burger for the meat eaters, to superfood vegetarian and tofu burgers. Dinner choices include robust fillet steak, bangers and mash, to beautiful cuts of fish. The drink selection is fine as well. From sweet strawberry lemonade to pink margaritas with a kick, The Bent Fork will keep you well hydrated.
There’s optimal inside and outside table seating, but you’re also welcome to throw a blanket on the grass, picnic style. Stand by for a more extensive wine collection and cheese platters to nibble on in the autumn sunshine.
Bring your dog, bring your kids, stay for a while. There are even two new, bright, sleek pine-smelling mini apartments for rent upstairs if you really want to stay longer!
Open 12-9pm daily. Closed Sundays.
Pauline’s Garden is what fairy tales are made of. There are jungle-esque nooks tucked around pots of marigolds, and also a regal white pagoda seating area with the sun streaming through. Or climb the winding stairs to the loungy loft where the sun warms you until it sets behind the hills in a pink and orange sky. Also, keep an eye out for the very personable pooch named Puja.
The new location, on Aanek Marg in Baluwatar, is more expansive than the last, and has plenty of warm spots or shade while the sun roasts or gently fades. They also have heaters in a semi-enclosed area, or fire pits under the trees for the crisp evenings.
The menu has grown, too. The predominately French menu currently stars rich boeuf bourguinon and creamy tartiflette. Pauline also does beautiful omelettes, croques monsieur and madame, and full, fresh organic salads. There’s a new chef, trained in an Italian kitchen, so he’s bringing some of those flavors to menu like spaghetti al fredo and brushetta.
This spot tucked away from the traffic is a verdant hideout for either light or more substantial lunches, coffee and strawberry topped cheesecake afternoons, or more warming dinner fare, with specials like melty French onion soup and pork chops with apple glaze. Better yet, spend some time at happy hour from 5-7pm for buy one get one free cocktails. Pair these with either a French Himalayan cheese platter, Nepali nibbles like chicken chilly, or stay tuned for a Newari platter on offer.
You’ll likely find a bit of anything you wish for.
Salon du Kathmandu
Tucked away in Lazimpat around the corner from the Radisson, this very sleek house/restaurant was opened in July by a stylish and warm Korean couple, Siwon and Chuck. The garden needed extensive excavation work to make it the peaceful, tented green space it is today. Previously a school, the interior also needed some serious renovation to give it the tasteful, calm atmosphere it has now. Siwon said they bought all secondhand furniture from around Kathmandu and refurbished it to make it just the way they envisioned.
The menu is excellent for lunch, dinner, or drinks and nibbles. For starters, try a Himalayan cheese platter, salad, or soup. Chuck’s eyes light up at the pumpkin soup! For mains, there’s a range of sandwiches, burgers and pasta dishes, including Japanese influenced yaki pasta. The standouts are Siwon’s grandmother’s recipes- Korean delights like bulgolgi, spicy chicken, or eggplant and pork rice bowls. It’s a great spot for a cocktail, too. The bartender came from La Sherpa and designed the drinks menu himself.
Now they’ve put fire pits outside, and have the indoor fireplace lit as well. Their vision is to have cultural gatherings and live jazz nights. They see their salon as a meeting place for lively discussions- Kathmandu’s locals and visitors sipping cocktails and chatting around the glowing fire.
There are also bright rooms upstairs going for $20-$40 per night.