This half-a-century old restaurant continues to entice patrons with its broad and savoury assortment of cuisines.
--BY AASHIYANA ADHIKARI
Despite being a Hotel Annapurna restaurant, The Coffee Shop is one of those relaxed, high-end restaurants that is both serious and fun.
There is a slightly more casual vibe to The Coffee Shop nowadays. When the hotel first opened fifty years ago, the main restaurant was located inside the hotel premises. Quickly, they moved the whole operation downstairs near the street, where the restaurant now feels a little more accessible, looser and fun even for walk-in guests.
The Coffee Shop offers everything, including some molecular gastronomy, a fun atmosphere, a rotating menu, and great servers. It is evident from the beginning that The Coffee Shop is striving to please its customers, starting with the fact that a host greets you outside the restaurant as you walk up.
With a seating capacity of eighty four, this restaurant staffs nineteen people. Open from 6:30 in the morning to 10:30 at night, this café provides all-day dining. Also, their breakfast buffet (6:30 am to 10:30 am) and lunch buffet (12 pm to 2:30 pm) are not only accessible to the in-house guests but to walk-in-customers as well. The space is what you might expect from a Scandinavian restaurant, meaning it’s bright, airy, and open.
There are so many ingredients at play on the menu, and the sum of their parts is outstanding. If it confuses you, start with the Cream of Mushroom soup, it is an absolute delight to start your gastronomical experience. Although the restaurant serves food from all around the world, the Kuku Paka with Rice (chicken coconut curry) from the Kenyan Coast is a standout among the dishes served here. If you are not a big fan of chicken curries, this eatery has other options such as Grilled Fish Tapenade with Amber Potato and Battered Fried Eggplant, which in literal terms melts inside your mouth with its oozing flavours. Other main course items like Chicken Ala Kiev with Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Vegetables and Pork Chop with Homemade Mustard Sauce are a must try. Also, you have a choice of Pasta dishes. From Mushroom and Cream with Chicken to Seafood Alfredo or a simple Mac and Cheese served here are delectable.
Executive Chef, Aga Thammar Murthuza who has over thirty years of experience in this business says although his expertise is in continental cuisines, a chef requires mastery over a variety of cuisines. His skill is evident in the delicious cuisines that were served. Not only were the non-vegetarian dishes delicious but vegetarian dishes like Homemade Quesadillas (Mexican-infused toasted sandwich) and Plain or Masala Dosa served here are equally tempting and tasty. The gastronomical ride does not end here. Desserts like Crème Brûlée and Hot Brownie with ice cream leave you craving for more.
The Coffee Shop is situated at the heart of the city, making it a perfect spot for an early breakfast, late brunch or even fancy dinners. This is one of the few places in Kathmandu where you are served breakfast, lunch and dinner under the same roof. It might be a hotel restaurant, but it’s one that stands up to the very best restaurants in the city.