The junction for the gourmet : A culinary experience at mul chowk
The uber posh restaurant of the Baber Mahal Revisited, The Mul Chowk Restaurant, as its name suggests, is situated in the main courtyard. And with further emphasis to the name, it is the creme de la creme for continental a la carte.
For anyone who is not acquainted with with Mul Chowk, their Instagram is the place to start. With the handle simply mulchowk, they flourish their feed with visually appetizing photos of their dishes. This is a great starting point to prepare for the amount of hospitality one is going to experience.
On arrival, the staff greets you with warmth and smiles. Then, as they make you feel like a VIP, your are led into a cozy interior that complements the art deco of the restored Rana architecture perfectly. The space itself is not that huge or grand in all honesty, but the balance of the wood and the plastered walls is masterful.
Mr. Sunny Manandhar, the owner-operator of Mul Chowk had composed a four course meal for us by featuring their signature dishes. And in this manner, we started off with the Kernel Corn Coriander Soup.
Now, a lot of people are not that big on coriander for it can be overpowering at times. However, to our pleasant surprise, the flavor of the herb is quite subtle, allowing the sweetness of the the corn to shine through. With the occasional intervention of bacon bits, the soup is a comforting dish, extending Mul Chowk’s philosophy of hospitality.
After we were done with the soup, we were served the Greek Salad. Here, this is a topic of discussion on whether you should have your salad before the main course, or after. This depends on the culture you follow, as the French and the Italian people like to have salads after the main course, while in America, they have it before the main course.
That’s up to you to follow. But regardless of what you do, when it comes to this salad, you are in for a refreshing surprise.
Bursting with flavors that whisper of the Mediterranean Sea, the dish goes beyond just a table motif. The freshness of the lettuce, tomato, green capsicum, and onion, is counterbalanced with the sharpness of green and black olives, and the earthiness of the feta. Then a healthy splash of vinaigrette brings it all together with its sweet and tang. It helps to have most of these in mouthfuls; an unsightly way for something so gorgeous, but a struggle well rewarded nonetheless.
The main course of the day was the Slow Cooked Lamb Shank. Having been cooked for 4-5 hours, the tenderness came to us with no surprise. But the way how easily the meat fell off the bone was beyond our anticipation. Just a fork and a little pull is more than enough to send the palate to an eternal culinary paradise.
Furthermore, what really took us aback was how simple the dish really is. The lamb is the true attraction here and the spices used to cook it do no more than just highlight the native flavors of the luxurious meat and envelope it in a fragrant aroma. The demi glaze that’s poured over does the same, but a little extra by making the meat more succulent, savory, and superbly melt-in-your-mouth. Coupled with the silky mashed potatoes, the dish is to die for.
Blueberry Cheese Cake is a popular finisher these days, but only some do it properly. And here at Mul Chowk, it’s done how it’s supposed to be done: simple, delicate, sinful, satisfying. Without making one run for their insulin shot, the filling is smooth and creamy with no room for the word ‘dense’. That complexity of savory, sweet, and sour, is expertly balanced. The crust achieves the same balance yet contrasts the velvet of the filling with its crumbliness harmoniously. It’s something to be savored with eyes closed.
WORDS BY TNM TEAM| PHOTOS BY GAURAV XHOMPATE SUNUWAR