Food and Drink Feed

Why I love Nepal: Delicious Tibetan and Tandoori Food

Everyone is always asking 'What to eat in Nepal?"   The traditional food eaten often two or three times daily by the Nepalis is dahl baht.   I need a change -- so these Tibetan and Indian dishes are part of my solution.

One of the things I like about picking up at Hari Timesina's studio is that it is not far from the Siddhartha Family Party House where they have delicious Paneer Tika made fresh in their tandoor oven.   Paneer is fresh cheese, here served with red onions and green bell peppers and grilled in the tandoor.   The paneer is marinated in a spicy tikka sauce before grilling.   Served with a mildly spicy green sauce and a fresh salad of carrots, radish and cucumber and a side of slaw, this dish was as tasty as it looked.   The skinny potato fries were complimentary with my beer.  

I do eat the raw vegetables here in Kathmandu and have not had problems to date.

As you can see Siddhartha is a bit over the top in its decor.   They were prepping a Nepali wedding the day I was there.   If you'd like to see a previous wedding from an earlier trip to this restaurant, please click here.  

Another local place where I can always count on delicious food is at the Bir Restaurant in Boudha.   This tasty Then Thuk soup hit the spot.  Then Thuk is a Tibetan delicacy made with homemade noodles and mixed with a spicy broth and fresh al dente vegetables.   This time of year I was treated to cauliflower, greens, onions, carrots, cabbage and garlic.   Yum.   The cost was 70NR.  At press time, that is less than a US dollar.   Bir serves the noodles with hot sauce, locally made catsup, soy sauce and little hot chilies in a bath of vinegar.  

Bir is a lively restaurant filled with Tibetan monks and locals. 

This Tibetan mother and her two daughters were traveling to Boudha.   They spoke neither Nepali nor English but we had a few words in Tibetan.   The walls of the Bir Restaurant are beautifully painted with Tibetan traditional symbols and have a lovely patina.


Another favorite treat is the Shapale - a Tibetan patty filled with spiced buffalo meat.   Not greasy but crisp and delicious and made to order !!!   Also a great deal at a little over a dollar for two.  

Another day, another Than Thuk.   This time at the Dragon Guest House in Boudha.  Again nutritious and delicious but without the homemade sauce from Bir.   (By the way, I've seen the dish alternatively spelled 'Than Thuk' and 'Then Thuk'.)

Willow the Golden Lab Retreiver by Shiva Thapa  12"x12" synthetic enamel on metal Available

Willow is a Danger Dog in both English and Tibetan in this signboard by Shiva Thapa, an artist that works in Pokhara, Nepal.

Happy Howlidays and Best Wishes for the season.   I hope every one of you gets what you want.

More soon.

Dog Bless and DogSpeed to those of you who are traveling during the holidays.

 If you'd like to order your very own Danger Dog (or Cat) contact me at [email protected].


Farmer's Market in Kathmandu

The 1905 Restaurant in Kathmandu is host to a Farmer's Market every Saturday from 9am to noon.

These gentlemen are selling delicious local goat's cheese in two styles -- aged and fresh.   They were creamy and flavorful.

This is a laid back market with lots of booths selling everything from homemade pastries and cookies to Seabuckthorn juice concentrate.    (Seabuckthorn is a nutritious fruit that grows in the Mustang district of Nepal.   It is loaded with vitamin C and tastes delicious.   I bring home the concentrate and make seabuckthorn sorbet.)

This farmer's market is set in the beautiful gardens of the 1905 Restaurant.   Built in 1905 as a Rana Palace, there are lots of areas to sit and enjoy the fruits of the market and see old friends.

This booth features Feta cheese made in Pokhara from cow's milk.   It was great.   I hope to get the product into a few shops in Boudha so I can have my feta fix while here.   A new company, western run, they have been in business only 3 or 4 weeks.   Best of luck to them.   They are already supplying many local restaurants here in Kathmandu.


This is low season here in Kathmandu, so the lovely ponds filled with swans are drained for cleaning at the moment.  

Stranded in Pokhara


It has been two days now that the flights are canceled due to rain.   The monsoon was late this year, and light last year, so heavy rain is a good thing for the farmers and the region in general.

We took advantage of the lull in the rain to sit by the side of magnificent Lake Fewa and have unlimited Nepali organic filter coffee and a breakfast.

The water hyacinths have flourished in the two days of rain and seem to be taking over the center of the Lake.   Our chickens like to eat the hyacinth in our pond at home and I wonder why they don't feed it to the livestock here.   Though lovely, water hyacinth is a famous but noxious weed that has blocked waterways from Thailand to Jamaica.   

Friday evening we stopped at this rooftop restaurant overlooking Lake Fewa for a quick beer and a game of dice.   It soon filled up with young Nepalis ready to start their weekend.   Saturday is the day off here in Nepal.   Sunday is a work day to many.   Just as we were leaving 4 beautiful young Nepali girls dressed to the nines pulled up.   Let the weekend begin!

The young man who runs this coffee stall studies geology and wanted a signboard that showed the formation of the Himalayas.   This is a replacement sign and the original had been painted by Shahi - one of my artists that has 'disappeared'.   The replacement was painted by Santosh but he may have it redone by Shree.   The rumors you hear on the street!

Speaking of Santosh, he painted this fine wall with everything you could ever ask for in a travel shop.


Pokhara used to be filled with hand painted signs advertising everything from massages to elephant rides in Chitwan.   Now most are pre-printed and not as interesting.   I have to admire Santosh' choice of phone above.

The Yeti is a common feature of businesses here in Pokhara.   Always shown kneeling with one big foot behind serving something on a tray -- I'm not sure I'd want to be offered a drink by a Yeti.

This body builder is impressive.

Speaking of Yetis, this is the impressive garden at the Yeti Guest House.   The large rooms are 500 Rupees per night off season and 1000 rupees in season.   (500 Nepali rupees converts to just under US$7 per night).   This includes an attached bathroom.   Contact the Yeti Guesthouse at [email protected].  

Also featured at the Yeti Guest House is a pair of bunnies.  

They are friendly, love to be petted and happily gobbled up the fruits we found on the grounds of this lush garden. 

Yellow fungi on a fence log in Pokhara.   The humid climate of Pokhara is conducive to many lovely flora.

Leika is a white shepherd who deserved a 'beware of dog' sign to guard her traditional Nepali compound.   We heard a low growl from her as we passed admiring the sign.   I gave this to Leika's young master last year and this is the first time I saw where they hung the sign.   The sign was painted by Santosh Shrestha.

While we were applying for a TIMS trekking permit, I came across a new quirk of Nepali bureaucracy...

Nepal recently recognized the rights of gays, lesbians and transgenders, and this may be the result!   Look carefully.   You have the Gender choice of Male, Female or Third!   Bravo Nepal!

Passing by the artist Poon's studio, I took a few photos of his favorite works that line the walls of his studio.   I'm not sure what is happening in the bright painting in the center of this photo.   The self-portrait on the left is Poon as a young man.

I hope to be in the mountains when you read this, but you can see that it is not too hard to be stranded in the resort town of Pokhara.

If you would like to order a Danger Dog, there is still time.   Send me a photo of your pet and I will give it to at least 3 Nepali signboard artists.   You pay only after you choose which one you prefer.  All artists are paid fair trade wages whether you choose theirs or not.

Please contact me at [email protected] with any questions or comments or with a photo of your pet.  Or go to for more information.

Be reassured that your order will be received and taken care of. 

The Danger Dog project promotes signboard art from Nepal which is fast disappearing, being replaced with ordinary and common digitally produced advertising.   I believe in Micro-finance through Art Patronage - a rod instead of the fish.

Nepal Art Dogs are for pet lovers who collect art and would like to make a difference.   

Give a gift to someone you love of a portrait of someone they love!

Katmandu and the World Cup


This cat was at the Netherlands vs Brazil game in Kathmandu.   We watched the game at the Electric Pagoda on a huge screen with every seat filled with revelers rooting for both sides.   The Electric Pagoda has a nice outdoor garden space in the Thamel area near Satgumpti (7 corners).


The streets of Thamel are filled with the flags of participating nations.


Just across from our hotel (the Downtown), people from all over Nepal watch the action on a big screen.



Bot Rivier wineries

Bot Rivier is in the Overberg wine district and is home to many fine wineries.   We were only able to visit two, but both were fun, informative and, above all, had delicious wines.

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Here Sebastian Beaumont with his open fermentation tank of Mourvedre grapes at the Beaumont Winery.   Sebastian has been the winemaker at this old winery for the last 10 years.   His specialty is the Chenin Blanc, which was excellent, but I loved the Mourvedre varietal.   Also known as Monastrell, this wine was deliciously full-bodied.   We were lucky enough to be able to sample from this barrel as Sebastian tamped it down, making the level of the grapes fall about 6 inches in the process.  

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The farm dog Mungo greeted us upon arrival at Beaumont.  

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The Beaumont wine farm and guest house also includes an art gallery.

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For more info on the Beaumont Winery in the Western Cape please go to their website at

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I wish you could smell the heady fragrance of these Mourvedre grapes as Sebastian stirred this lovely pot!   Dan was also very fond of their Goutte d’Or, a Noble Late Harvest wine.   

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Next it was off to the elegant Luddite Winery.   Down a gravel road, we came to this fine winery where we tasted their award-winning 2005 and 2006 Shiraz side by side.   I could not decide which I liked more, but finally leaned toward the 2005.  Those floors are carved out of wine barrels - not merely painted.  They are quite stunning in person.   Visit their website:

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Like many of the great wine estates, Luddite has a selection of art on the premises.  The artist who created this hanging intends to make it a functioning chandelier.    Imagine all those tiny headlights!
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Tasting these two great wines with Penny, the winemaker's charming wife, we were amused by the antics of their more than friendly Jack Russell terrier.  
Who could resist?

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South African artists often use mosaic techniques on their sculptures.

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Luddite must have had 7 dogs on the property.   Here is a Boer Bull coming and a Jack Russell going!

We are back from our trip to South Africa, but will always remember the great times and wines and art.   The South African people of all stripes were welcoming and I encourage each of you to visit this great and affordable country.

More tomorrow!