Nepal Diaries: Dining at Bhojan Griha


While in Kathmandu, we wanted to try a traditional Nepali meal. After some Internet research, we figured that apart from momos/dimsums which were free flowing, we should try one of the most popular restaurants in Kathmandu, called Bhojan Griha. Bhojan Griha is a Nepali restaurant located in a 150-year old mansion. The place is difficult to find in the dark as there is no light on the signboard in the lane. Fortunately, our hotel driver knew the location and dropped us right outside.

The building resembles an old Indian Haveli and dinner is served on the first level. The seating is traditional on low lying wooden chairs and tables. Dining here has been designed as an experience in Nepal’s food and culture, so all one needs to do is to pick a time and arrive, and from there, the wheels move for themselves.

We did not have a reservation, but we just walked in. On arrival, there was a traditional welcome with a tikka on our foreheads, by the hostess. We were then brought up to the first level, where we chose a spot out of the 2-3 empty ones. A group of folk artists who sang local songs and performed regional dances were performing, and they perform everyday from 7pm to 9pm there.

The restaurant serves a set menu that consists of Newari style cuisine, so you don’t really have to go and order off a menu. The choices have already been made. Amongst the five of us, we ordered a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals.

The setup

The setup

We started with a small helping of aila, which was locally brewed rice wine, along with popcorn. The aila was very strong and reminded me of cashew feni that is produced in Goa. After that followed a lentils soup, a potato appetizer (nothing great!!) and some lip smacking momos (meat filled dumplings).

The Soup

The Soup

The Appetizer

The Appetizer

The Momos

The Momos

The main meals were served in a thali and had Nepali staple dishes of cooked rice, sautéed greens, mushrooms, beans fried fish, chicken gravy and lentils. The chicken was substituted with a cottage cheese curry for the vegetarians. For dessert there was sikarni, a sweet yoghurt from the region after which we had a choice of tea or coffee. One could have unlimited portions, but as we experienced, only some people raise their hand for a second helping.

The Bhojan Griha Meal

The Bhojan Griha meal

Overall the meal was non spicy, simple and light. There was nothing fancy about the place or special about the service. The food was average, but I guess it costs money to make an experience out of it, and package it all together and put it in one place.

The pricing is different for Nepalese, and guests from other countries. At a price of USD20/INR 1400 per person plus 23% taxes, the pricing was very steep. Later during the trip we had the most amazing Nepali meal (a different cuisine though!) for half the price in a hole in the wall joint.

To me it appeared that Bhojan Griha is an overly priced restaurant that offers Nepali traditional food (Dal, Bhaat, Tarkari) mainly to foreign tourists visiting Nepal. I did enjoy the local folk entertainment during the dinner but the dining room gets so loud as that it made chatting impossible.

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Comments

  1. Hello Ajay,

    Oh my goodness, INR 1400 + 23% tax per meal is too much. One can have authentic Nepali food at 1/10th of the above price.

    Regards
    Santosh Gautam

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