Category Archives: Italian

Alchemy

Alchemy

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Location: Thamel, across from J.P. School
Establishment: Italian Restaurant
Cost: 300 – 1000 Nrs for a meal
Near by walking: Amar Prem, Moon Paper Craft, Bamboo Garden Restaurant
Info:
Tel: 4218472
Mob: 98510550676
Email: khatrikapali@hotmail.com
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Hours: around 8:00am until maybe 10:00pm. Don’t push your limits, this is Nepal.
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Parla Italiano? Apparently Alchemy does. Located directly across the street from J.P. Highschool (one can hear children chattering) and towards the south side of Thamel, Alchemy occupies a small two-story footprint within walking distance of everything one would need here.
The owner, Kapil Poudel Khatri, bills his eatery as an authentic Italian Restaurant, and at least the menu selection seems to reflect it. Pizzas are available for 330 – 400 (approximate) Nrs and are as varied as the selections at Road House or Fire & Ice, supposedly cooked in a woodfire oven.
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Pastas will run you 300 – 400 Nrs (the ravioli isn’t 5 star, but is fluffy and fresh). Breakfast items are 100 – 200 Nrs.
Of note, Alchemy offers gelato, and while not as intense as some other places I’ve tried (outside of Nepal), it is creamy and delicious.
The salad was dressed just right, though as a mixed salad it was like a university student who has yet to declare a major, colorful and lacking direction. It could use less chicken and more crunch.
Overall, Alchemy appears to be yet another Thamel landmark, perfect for anyone seeking a little Italian flavor among the dal bhat.

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La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita

20110924-093918.jpgLocation: Thamel, second T-intersection, corner of Chaksibari Marg, north of Roadhouse and south of New Orleans
Establishment: Italian Restaurant
Cost: 300-600 Nrs for meal
Near by walking: Hot Breads, KTM Guest House
Info: Thamel, P.O. Box 9315
Tel: 4700612, 4262768
Email: arcadia@mos.com.np

If you’ve wandered in to Thamel and are overwhelmed by the array of Reggae bars and places purporting to specialize in every single possible asian cuisine as well as “Continental” food, La Dolce Vita is the place for you. LDV (“ristorante • bar italiano”) does ONLY Italian food. Their menu features a small selection of salads and appetizers, a nice array of pasta and an entire page’s worth of pizza.
While the entrance is actually north of the intersection (you’ll see hot breads at the top of the “T”), the restaurant’s second floor dining area actually extends all the way to the corner. Choose a table near the window for a good view of passing trekkers, tourists and enlightenment seekers.
While the pasta must surely be decent, this reviewer partook only of the pizza to test a claim that it is the “best pizza in town.” I would say not, though it definitely ranks among the best. The house wine is an excellent accompaniment to the aforementioned dish.
Of note: the toilets available are western(+1). Also, not that this should affect anyone else’s trial of the place, but I’d advise avoiding anything with fresh (not so cooked) vegetables; I had major food poisoning from the grilled veggie pizza(food poisoning= -2)

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Vesper Café

Vesper Café

Location: “restaurant row” in Pulchowk/Patan
Establishment: Euro-Asian Restaurant
Cost: 300-700 Nrs for a meal
Near by walking: restaurant row establishments
Info:

Patio at Vesper Cafe

Patio at Vesper Cafe

Bouncing down the dusty restaurant row in Patan, you’ll find the prim gravel parking lot of Vesper Cafe welcoming your tired feet or two-wheeled vehicle for a meal. Vesper’s meandering outdoor seating area sits around a building in front, and the indoor area inside a low-slung structure in back. If the weather permits, sit outside, the view is certainly not worthy, but better than inside. I imagine this is how a toddler feels inside the walls of a playpen. Thus far this reviewers experience extends no further than the pizza (the waiter recommended it vs. their other food?), but the establishment’s menu looks as if the owners are attempting a semi-upscale pan continental feel. Indian, Thai, Chinese, European and Nepali cuisine ( I wonder how many chefs they employ?) grace the menu, along with the ubiquitous pizza.
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Four Cheese Pizza at Vesper Café

That said, the latter fare was quite tasty, a quattro fromagio of sorts with the local cow’s milk cheese (Kanchan), parmesan, mozzarella, and something else that made it worthy pizza in Patan.
Of note: largish western bathroom, parking enough for a smallish car or large car with ballsy driver.


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Imago Dei

Imago Dei
Chinese Chicken Chili Snack at Imago Dei

Chinese Chicken Chili Snack at Imago Dei

Location: Nag Pokhari
Establishment: Western Continental restaurant
Cost: 300-1000 Nrs for a meal
Near by walking: Mike’s Breakfast, Seoul Arirang Korean Restaurant, Duty-Free Shop, Framing Shop
Info: ph:(0)1 444 2464
985-102-9041
imago.dei.gallery@gmail.com

Located on a relatively quiet street, further sequestered from foot traffic even, Imago Dei is another good example of a haven in Kathmandu. Whether walking or driving, the restaurant is accessible, though parking may become difficult on Friday evenings (Nepalis have Saturday off); street parking is available, though not for the faint of heart.
Walk into the courtyard past the framing shop and the Duty-free shop (Diplomats only, sorry, public at large) and past the first art gallery to find Imago Dei (While Imago also serves as an art gallery itself, this review does not cover art appreciation). Sit outside in nice weather, or inside the spacious dining area at a quaint wooden table with cushioned seats, or even at the low-slung italian-inspired leather couches.
Imago Dei’s menu runs the gamut, hitting high points from many of the cultures that represent Kathmandu’s expat community, including offerings from Thai, Nepali, Chinese, Italian, American, and Indian cultures. While some restaurants inspire fear at such a schizophrenic approach, Imago Dei manages to project confidence, coming off as a State-side urban success, due in no small part to the vision of the owner I’m sure.
Though the main entrées may be tempting, don’t overlook the “snacks”, which could themselves serve as a small meal to most. Instead, order an appetizer to share with a friend, perhaps even split a salad. The Chinese Chicken Chili “snack” or appetizer was amazingly spicy with a chili paste, and not too sweet. The included sautéed green peppers and onions added a mellow depth to it. The roast pumpkin and bacon salad was excellently dressed, not overpowering the fresh spinach leaves, and complimenting the new chevre (less than 7 days old to be certain). Salads come with two slices of quick bread (banana, pumpkin or zucchini ). If you plan on staying in Kathmandu for a few weeks, Imago Dei may warrant a second visit, if only for the cheesecake and coffee.

Roast Pumpkin and Bacon Salad at Imago Dei

Roast Pumpkin and Bacon Salad at Imago Dei


Of note! Imago Dei has western toilets (!), decent parking, and occasionally beer offerings beyond the Carlsberg, Tuborg, San Miguel, Everest, Lowenbrau-strewn landscape.
Wifi (Open) is available.
Most importantly, though not pictured here, Imago Dei has the best cheesecake in town, hands down. Do not go without preparing to have a slice.
Overall, Imago Dei has an excellent atmosphere, good location, and amazing food at decent prices. I would not hesitate to go again. Second favorite restaurant in Kathmandu thus far. (Bhumi only beats it for the sheer simplicity and price of the food and variety of tapas-style offerings; altogether a different class of restaurant)

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Casa Toscana

Casa Toscana

Busco di Funghi pizza at Casa Toscana

Busco di Funghi pizza at Casa Toscana

Location:
Patan
Establishment: Italian restaurant, bar
Cost: 100-500 Nrs for lunch, probably more for dinner
Near by walking: Café Soma, Epic
Bike Shop, Restaurant Row (one street south)
Info:
Nestled on a relatively deserted section of road, Casa Toscana can be easily missed. Turn right off the main road (at Namaste Supermarket / the overhead crosswalk, just before the stuppa), and head down a couple hundred meters. If driving, park across the street in the dirt. Walk up a couple flights of stairs (outside and inside) and get a seat inside, behind the plate glass windows. Between September and March this should offer a great view of the Himalyas, through the smog and power lines. (charming, but take it for what it’s worth).

Casa Toscana claims to offer food inspired by the heritage of Italy’s 20 regions, though the pizza I tried didn’t muster to the nearby Roadhouse Café (also two more locations north of the river in Thamel and Baluwatar) or Fire & Ice. At 370 Nrs it was less expensive than the other two, The salads, calzone, and home-made ravioli sounded ins ping, but will have to wait for next time.

If you’re doing to the Patan restaurant tour, don’t miss it, but skip the pizza. Kinda like Tombstone pizza for those familiar with the frozen pizza in the ‘States.

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