So this arty friend of mine has been raving to me about this rustic free-spirited arty-crafty cafe she has started hanging out in. And very earthly, it’s called Prithvi Cafe (Soon the bar will be added to that name). I along with some fellow foodies decided to review the place. Also marking the first cafe/restaurant review on Kathmandu Foodies. Things will start taking the pace now.
Midst the heavy downpour and nearly experiencing the skyfall we reached the visually noisy but placid feeling neighborhood where Prithvi is situated in. The feeling of art and activism invigorates from the moment you are near the premises – The social messages, NGO flyers in the walls to a beautiful handmade signage that parades the word ‘Prithvi’.
As we were about to step in – I stumbled upon a friend of mine at the gate. After some casual hi-hellos, It came to my knowledge that he neighbors prithvi cafe. His neighbor’s nose view was definitely needed to set a pretext for initial impressions of the place. His first reportings were some appreciation for the breakfasts which he frequents there. Even though he claims to be a big meat eater,vegan assortment at prithvi satisfied him. Since it was the evening time that we were there, it had occurred to me that this review isn’t going to be a complete one. I have marked my calender for a breakfast visit and leave committed to a second review. However, I think that is the beauty about restaurant and food reviews. It is not about the pre-prepared, pre-informed setting that you review a restaurant always. Atleast that’s not how food experiences go in real world scenarios. You drop in at random settings of moods and lights to see what a place has to offer.
The warm interiors
While talking about scenarios – What was thrown at us was the load-shedding (which we have adjusted to and learnt to live with by now) plus there was some technical problem with the cafe’s generator. So candle light it was. But for a place like prithvi, this setting right now made the most sense. The candles and dimly accentuated edges of beautiful traditional wooden masks and old school pseudo lanterns made the whole experience euphoric.
With all those interesting bits of weather and lights meandering,we started off with something to anoint our throats. Confusing as the weather was, a hot tea as well a glass of chilled sugary drink would do fine. I opted for a Rose petal tea. To my realization it was just a fancy re-post of a name from the box of tea bag that they served me. It was a mildly-spiced blend with dominant flavors of tulsi (Basil,the spice variety) and no tangible traces of rose petals. The tea wasn’t a bad drink in itself. It was how the name inflated my expectations and natural disappointment of not meeting expectations occurred. The menu however boasted quite a few innovative tea servings though. An order of lemonade that arrived looking simple and chilled about right was plagued by traces of garlic. The wait-staff apologetically handled the complain and was replaced swiftly. The garlic case must be attributed to the fact that prithvi is upcoming with a bar and the lemonade was made in the kitchen. The culprit resided in Garlic alloyed kitchen knife.
To the scanning of the food menu,this is where the inspiration starts seeping in. In a meat filled restaurant scene like ours, the menu boasted rehashed twists of simple ovo-lacto (eggs and milk based) vegan fare . The menu was a hand drawn,fading with time – artifact sort piece. We started our orders with a nutrella-cheese momo and Spinach-cheese pakoda.
The momo could be defined as a humble yet warm experience. Humble because it was mildly spiced and warm because it had the feeling of home made food. This is first time I have eaten a nutrella momo in a commercial establishment other than numerous servings at home.Cheese quantity was just about right. It was a good deviation from usual cabbage filling one expects from a veg. momo offering. The star of the momo dish however was the tomato achar (sauce/dip). It had a perfect tang with a light sweetness cutting through. Nestled in this elation I forgot to photograph the momo though. Which I only realized by the time I was recollecting the experience while I was heading back home. But for sure, I have to devour those momo for that achar again. The momo photograph will come.
The Spinach and Cheese pakodas were a stunner. Lightly coated with bread crumbs – The cheesy goodness was oozing out with a complimentary grassy-veggy feel of spinach to balance the richness. Again it was served with the same ‘rockstar’ momo achar and worked towards a perfect combination. I only raise my hands to question how they were erringly named pakodas while the suitable choice would have been what you would call a chop. But ‘cheese’, what’s in a name.
Egg Fried Rice (Left) and Oyster Mushroom Chilly (Right)
The egg fried was ordered to test upon if the basics were done right. Staying true to its nature of offering, the egg fried was a delight too. It was simple but the flavoring were just done right. The buttery accents were again reminiscent of food without frills. The seasoning in egg toppings were optimum. The mushroom chilly had a different story to speak for itself. First, it was not mentioned on the menu as to what type of mushroom would be served. The serving of oyster mushroom with a sauce too sweet and over-salted seasoning killed the dish.
It was an awkward time between evening snack and dinner time. We could not put our taste buds to the main course. The menu read few kinds of mushroom and nutrella curries curries with plain rice and a nepali thali set. Without being much of a revolutionary offering they were an easy miss.
With all the love up and downs for the food,good music and creative vibes always remained a constant part of the atmosphere. The subtle food goes very well with what ideology prithvi bases itself upon. Simple and Soulful. It is that place where you don’t just come to eat but to take in a lot of sensory and visual experiences and cups of teas for several hours. With the creative-artistic souls filling in the floor, you are bound to get inspired. A kind of joint where after a few visits you don’t hesitate to eliminate the need of service and go the counter,serve yourself. There would not be much of service experience to talk about thus.
While this is a preliminary review of the place that is well, coming off its labels after being opened for 2 months now. It definitely deserves a second visit. After some small talks with a wait-staff I got my hands on another menu which was soon replacing the current artifact menu. A quick look and I could see a lot of interesting dish names. A more varied menu that will be coming to the diners for good.
Looking forward to all the promising changes, Another review will follow soon.
Food Bill (As it was presented to us)
Mushroom Chilly – Rs.180
Spinach Cheese Pakoda – Rs.170
Cheese Nutrella Momo – Rs.170
Lemonade – Rs.60 X2
Rose Petal Tea – Rs. 70
Egg Fried Rice – Rs. 175
Total – Rs. 885 nett (No applicable service charge or Taxes)
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food – 3.5 | Service – 3.5 | Ambiance – 4.0 | Value for money – 3.5
Overall Ratings 3.5/5
Timings : 8:00 Am to 9:00 Pm | Alcohol : Yes | Credit Card: No
Contact: +977-9808230472 | Map : Above
Note: This was an anonymous review despite the mentions of contacts relating to the ownership of the restaurant. There is no influence/bias of any kind whatsoever.