TRAVEL · Uncategorized

Hungry for a Nepali Thali?

Then look no further. Tukche Thakali Kitchen is the place where you will find some yummy spread from the Thakali region.

We were very keen to eat some local fare while in Nepal and had heard of the Nepali Thali. We tried this at various places but came back wanting more. Most places serve very bland food and for the longest time we believed that was the Nepali fare.

This perception changed when we visited Tukche Thakali Kitchen.

The restaurant sits pretty in a stand-alone house with multiple levels.

Once seated, we ordered the set Thali meal, one for each member of our party. After a bit of chitchat and settling down the kids, our Thali’s arrived and they looked as good as they tasted.

At first sight it can appear to be a small portion but really it satisfies even big eaters.

IMG_3231
Vegetarian Thali

The thali comes with a portion of white rice, a bowl of dal (pulses / lentils), a splatter of eggplant, good portion of potatoes, a green leaf vegetable belonging to the mustard family, pickles and a tomato chutney.

For the non-vegetarians there is a bowl of chicken and the vegetarians get a bowl of mixed vegetables.

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Non Vegetarian Thali

And we dug in.

The Dal is fairly plain but that is important when you have other strong and distinct flavours in the thali. My favourite dish is the green leafy vegetable. It appears to be just sautéed with a dash of salt and put on the thali but the flavor is very unique and it’s also so healthy. The potatoes are another hot spot on the thali. Perfectly cooked and spiced, this I could have more off, if not for the fact that they are fattening J. The eggplant vegetable is also quite nicely balanced. The pickles are yum but one just doesn’t seem to have so many senses to enjoy the pickles and also all the food on the thali. The same goes for the tomato chutney. Though one member of our party filled his tummy with just this.

I didn’t try the mix vegetable dish in the veg thali but was told it was equally good.

Then comes the perfectly spiced and juicy chicken dish. Like we say in India, its ‘masaledaar’ implying loads of spice but not hot.

Then purely by chance we discovered an accompaniment to the thali. My children were feeling a bit of the heat from the food and so we ordered the curd for them. Set to perfection in what we think would be full fat milk with a sweet taste to it. Now I have had curd with sugar but this is different. You will just have to go to Tukche and try it. 🙂 After a taste of this curd, all the adults also ordered it and ate it as a dessert.

Here is the interesting thing, their dessert menu list 3 things, 2 kinds of curd and a dessert called Phopkee. I was curious to try this and it was served hot. This is an interesting dessert made out of fermented rice. Its got a funny starchy texture and I enjoyed it once it cooled down. Much like other fermented drink like Sake or Fenny, this requires an acquired taste and unfortunately no one else really took to it.

I was left with a bit of a high from the dessert and the fully expanded tummy.

Before I start drooling on my laptop, I should sign off and let you enjoy your meal at Tukche.

Some pointers should you visit this place:

  • It is super busy during lunch hour, so be prepared to wait a while or reserve a table in advance.
  • They have a ground level section but it does not have very pleasant seating. We prefer the first floor – better lit and more vibrant
  • Service is quite unpredictable and depends entirely on the person waiting on you. Of all the times we have visited the place ( we really only keep going back for the food), only once we have had a warm waiter who was also very prompt and friendly.
  • There is a mirco Thali for the children and do let the waiter know that you want less chilly, if your children cannot take too many spices.
  • Location – Gairidhara, Kathmandu
  • Price: approx. 300 NPR per thali. There is extra charge for extra helping but in all the times we have visited, we have not asked for extras and usually find it difficult to finish our thali in entirety. Its also great if you go in a group of people who dig into each other’s thali. There will be a dish that some like and another dish they do not. Barter system works well if thats how you are used to eating.
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