Food for the soul: Chimes Restaurant

17, Jan 2019 | nepaltraveller.com

An all rounded food experience without missing out the tiny details

Located at Sanepa Chowk is a restaurant about to make its mark. Chimes Restaurant started serving customers less than a year ago but has already received a lot of positive reviews. They will be having their official opening upcoming March and will be ready to surprise you with mouth watering offers.

It is a place suited for everyone. Be it a family dinner, a get-together with your friends, or maybe you’re here just to type an essay, the ambience of this place is perfect for almost everything. If you prefer to stay under the sky, there is a spacious garden decorated with wooden benches and tables. Adjacent to the garden, is a shed, a cosy place to hang out with your friends. And right next to the bar is a staircase that leads up to the balcony, another nice place to sit, and possibly enjoy a good view. The ambient jazz music breaks the silence but is quiet enough to let you talk with your folks. It’s equally beautiful during the night with its the soft lighting that adds on to the comfortable atmosphere. Additionally, the warm hospitality of the restaurant truly makes it a place that you would love to be in.

“In Nepal, I’ve always noticed that people running hotels or restaurants are missing small details. I met some like-minded people back in Europe when I used to work there. They became my friends and were willing to change the norm here in Nepal. And here in Chimes, we believe that we can bring European standard food but with cuisines from all around the world”. Said Viking Kunwor, GM of Chimes Restaurant.

Moving on to the food. We asked chef TJ Limbu to prepare things that would showcase his range of abilities. We started with the Nepali classic: Momos. However, it was no ordinary momo. The dumplings were steamed keeping the meat as well as the flour tender but not too soft. It was accompanied by Indonesian sambal sauce as well as a bowl of Miso sauce. To our surprise, the blend of diverse ingredients in this classic dish went perfectly with one another. The taste of the meat wasn’t taken away by its seasoning, the wrapping was consistent and the presentation added to the unique taste. It was only a momo, but it was much more than just a momo.

Next up, we had the Fish and Chips. This too was served in an artistic manner. With the fish placed atop the chips, complemented by lemon, mushy peas, salad and some tartar sauce. Each of these ingredients acted like pieces of puzzles forming a piece of art. The potato had a unique taste, thanks to the variety of seasoning that was used, however, the spices didn’t take away the main essence of the food. The tartar sauce made a necessary addition to the dish, yet it didn’t overpower the main ingredients. The fish was crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and each bite was equally delicious as the last.

From the vegetarian menu, we got to enjoy some Paneer Guacamole. Chef TJ here had his own unique way of bringing out the taste in it. The paneer was placed along with rosemary potatoes and cooked with pasta sauce. This too was presented in a minimalistic matte black plating and was topped with guacamole and arugula. The combination was so perfect that in each bite you could feel the explosive taste of numerous ingredients, each with its own unique taste and texture, yet complementing one another.

Finally the Grilled Chicken. It’s a special treat everytime you go into this restaurant because the chicken is served along with seasonal vegetables. Like everything else, chef TJ had incorporated his unique style in crafting this dish as well. Cooked with mushroom sauce, that takes over two days to prepare, complemented by seasonal vegetables presented in the way they were meant to be. The meat was juicy and tender, allowing you to savour each bite. The vegetables on the plate were also prepared with every small detail in mind. The onions tasted amazing and the carrot suited the chicken and the broccoli had its own share of contribution.

“As a chef, it’s more than just mixing ingredients. First I need to visualise it, then smell it, then only I can taste it. Here in Nepal, the constantly fluctuating prices make it quite challenging to be regular with the ingredients, but that only means that my creativity can keep on flowing. It’s still a learning curve for me but I believe that the food culture here can be influenced soon enough” insisted chef TJ Limbu.

The unique flavours of each meal, the comfortable environment of the restaurant, and the wholesome hospitality makes Chimes Restaurant the perfect place for almost everyone. The place lives up to everything they’ve promised, and it is undoubtedly ‘food for the soul’.

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