|Phewa Lake / Lakeside Pokhara.|
I have a confession to make: We didn't really do much in Pokhara. Mostly, we ate. And walked around. And ate some more. But that's a good confession for a food blog, right?
The bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara took about 7 hours. Google lies and says it's just over 4 hours, but Google clearly isn't familiar with how roads and traffic operate in Nepal. Narrow roads in various states of maintenance winding through mountainous regions do not make for a quick drive, I can tell you that.
|A cow in the middle of the street, amidst traffic, in Pokhara.|
Understandably, when we arrived in Pokhara, a refreshing drink was in order. And there were plenty of those on offer.
This menu at a juice and lassi shack caught our eye. It may look extensive, but not all items were available as they are restricted to what's in season. Which is a good thing, since it means whatever you get is the fresh stuff. We ordered a watermelon juice and an apple lassi.
|An extensive list of drinks.|
We also adopted a couple of restaurants here as our local haunts. Old Star Family Restaurant was one of them. The prices here are very reasonable - it's easy to grab a main and a drink here for just around 200 NPR (~$2.3 AUD) if you order the cheaper items on the menu, though on our less frugal days it's also easy to spend twice that. I think this is also where we first learned the Nepali word, "mitho", which means "delicious" - a very appropriate term for all the things we ate here!
This is a delectable cardamom lassi - I think it had banana and honey in it, too.
The national dish of Nepal is Dal Bhat Tarkari - lentil soup, rice, and vegetable curry, sometimes with pickles as well.
|Dal Bhat Tarkari - Nepal's national dish.|
This is the Dal - the lentil soup that is served on the side.
We also had momos (Nepali dumplings), which come with a nice buttery spicy sauce. These are steamed chicken momos - they were freshly made, and so tasty. The restaurant seems to make everything to order with no shortcuts - soon after we tell them what we want, we would often see them picking herbs from the garden, and hear them chopping up vegetables in the kitchen. It can take a long time, but we were never in a hurry, so we didn't mind waiting.
|Steamed chicken momos.|
The breakfast items are good, too. This is the masala omelette, which is basically an omelette with mixed spices and vegetables.
One time I was craving something sweet and indulgent, so I went for something from the Western section of the menu - French toast with honey. It was simple, well done and hit the spot.
|French toast with honey.|
Another spot we frequented was Sweet Memories Restaurant. We were initially attracted to their free wi-fi, and also their fantastically spicy chai (though it wasn't as fantastically spicy on subsequent visits, sad face).
Due to the bountiful lakes, Pokhara is one of the places in Nepal where one can take the opportunity to tuck into some freshwater fish, and that we did. This deep-fried fish was not what I expected - it was like a fish schnitzel! - but very scrumptious.
|Deep fried fish. It's like a fish schnitzel.|
The fish cooked Nepali-style was also superb. It came on a sizzling plate, with a complex spicy sauce. I think these fish dishes ring in at just over 400 NPR each (~$4.6 AUD), plus taxes (some restaurants include taxes in their menu prices, others add them on afterwards).
|Fish cooked with a spicy Nepali sauce.|
One day we ventured out of the main tourist area, and after wandering around aimlessly for a while, found ourselves longingly looking at samosas and pakoras on display in a dingy little shop. So in we went. We enjoyed them so much we took our plate back to the lady for a second helping. They were a bargain - the samosas cost 15 NPR (~$0.18 AUD) each, while the pakoras were 5 NPR (~$0.06 AUD) each.
|Samosa and pakora.|
As you can see, we had a very appetizing time in Pokhara! In my next post, I'll show you around Astam, a nearby little village with breathtaking views. Till then, stay cool.
|A cat chillin' out in Pokhara.|