Kathmandu is a Nepalese restaurant in the middle of Dalkey village. Kathmandu is also the capital of Nepal, and is one of the highest cities in the world, cradled in a valley surrounded by four peaks at 4,000 metres above sea level. The first floor restaurant in Dalkey is closer to the ground, but they are nonetheless striving for the heights with their elegant and exotic food.
Kathmandu is a few doors down from Ouzos, and right over Roberts' food store. Once upstairs one enters a stylish and comfortable room decorated with feature wallpaper, shiny dark wood floors and an antique fireplace in a wall that divides the dining area in two.
It’s not our first visit to Kathmandu, I have eaten here several times and Paolo reviewed it last year. There have been some changes now, with former manager Puskar taking over as owner, and bringing father Chandra with him, who cooked for many years in Saagar, and the two are now making it a family affair in Dalkey.
Inside the cover there is a note about Nepalese food in general and Kathmandu’s culinary policies in particular; all the spices are imported and ground freshly on the premises, there are no additives, colourings or preservatives used, and a promise that all the food is 100% natural. Staff are friendly and attentive and we are soon munching on poppadoms with three dips, and sipping our sparkling water.
The menu is long enough, but not trying to cover every base needlessly. There are some Indian dishes, with Nepalese specialities dotted about, and it is with these we stick. We enjoy a selection of four starters; Nepalese Mo Mo are like little dim sum, and just as tasty. A mixed grill from the Tandoor is nicely spiced and moist, while prawns are perfectly cooked. The star here though is a spiced calamari, sliced thinly and ever so tender, they were delicious.
Main courses continue to impress; a traditional chicken Balti is as it should be, while Nepalese lamb is tender and the meat is easily enjoyed through a lightly spiced sauce, while Sherpa Jhinga chilli, a dry prawn dish with onions and peppers came with a side order of dipping sauce, which apart from going with the prawns, made a great dip for my Naan bread.
There’s no room for dessert, but coffee and tea finish off a very good meal indeed. The standard of ethnic cooking - and the surroundings in which to enjoy them - has risen immeasurably in recent years, and Kathmandu is one of the better places. Prices are very reasonable –starter and main for €21 – and with friendly service, great food and a pleasing space, Kathmandu is reaching for the heights. One to try.
* They also do a take away and delivery service each evening.