Tag Archives: food

Dinesh Wagle

नोभेम्बर 17, 2014

Nice to see some Bakery Cafe New Baneshwor waiters (hearing impaired) taking orders in their Galaxy tabs with customized menu software. Orders entered in the tablets at the tables instantly reach to computers in the kitchen & billing counter via wireless connection. #HitechBC

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Pasta and daal, for free, in the name of Lord Krishna

London-hare-Krishna-food-1

Just as I was about enter through the main gate, someone waved at me and extended a warm invitation.

“Come, eat,” he said. “It’s a very cold day today. You should eat something. It’s free.”

The white man, with a bald head and a huge tuppi, was wearing a yellowish dhoti. I was in central London at the campus of a well-known British school. I had gone there to see a Nepali-speaking professor. I had reached at the gate a good 30 minutes earlier after tiring myself of walking around and inside Hyde Park for a couple of hours. I needed to kill time.

I was hungry too.

Pasta, very thick daal and an interesting conversation were waiting for me.

The person who invited me for this surprise late afternoon lunch was accompanied by a man who looked like a Southasian and a white lady.

I could instantly recognize who these people were. A small board with words from Bhagawat Gita was stood on the food stall that stood on wheels. But I didn’t need to see that to conclude who they were. I happily accepted the invite. I was instantly given a plate full of food that I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish.

I ate along with other students who were offered the food in the same manner I was offered.

Some Indian students, while eating the same food as they stood not far from the food stall, were cracking some dirty jokes in Hindi.

I quietly listened to them while strolling around to suppress my laughter.

I couldn’t eat that all.

“Can I take a photo of you distributing food, please?” I asked.

“Yes,” said the Russian man. I was just guessing his nationality based on his ascent. Turned out i
I was correct.

“Oh, Nepal,” he reacted after I answered his question. “Ratna Park! I know. I have been there. Budhanilakantha. There is temple.” He was correct. Long time ago, I had gone to interview a Russian at the ISCON temple in Budhanilakantha. As far as I could remember, this man with thick tuppi looked like the Russian that I had met in Budhanilakantha in 2004.

The Southasian guy turned out to be a Sri Lankan. “I have a friend who worked in Nepal,” he said in a very excited tone. “He coached the national Cricket team of Nepal. Do you know Roy Dias? He is my classmate.”

“I know Roy Dias,” I told him, “But only through media. Not personally.”

“I believe he was quite a star in Nepal,” he added. “Many girls wanted to marry him. I understand that the boys (Cricket players, he obviously meant, I assumed) liked him as well.”

पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्

Manila food: In the Uni canteen

Manila Food. Hint: too much meat :)

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Manila food: rice, fish, egg and mushroom

Manila food: rice, fish, egg and mushroom. ( Mushroom wasn't good.)

Too much meat. Too little vegetable. My impression of the food in Manila- especially on restaurants that are crowded by middle class and lower middle class Filipinos. I eat meat but not much. I like to try new food but such trial must always been interrupted, may be two days, by dal bhat tarkari 🙂 As the first week passed by I started craving for the food that is a daily staple in Nepal. Dal was not be seen anywhere. We went to an Indian restaurant called Bollywood in Greenbelt. Surprisingly the manager was a Nepali speaking Indain from Darjeeling area (Kolkata, he said). The food was good but I must admit that the bill was too steep. And the motton momo, dipped in the Indian chicken-gravy, was quite strange to my taste but my classmates liked it. Here’s an excerpt of an article that I wrote for Kantipur newspaper two weeks ago about Nepali students in Manila and Bangkok. The excerpt in Nepali talks about the food in Manila. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्

Khojuwa: kathmandu searching dog

image

As seen on the wall of a restaurant- Picasso- in Patan. The full name goes like this: Picasso- Artist de la Cusine.

Albatross the band will start playing live music momentarily. They have set up their instruments outside. U’ll have to buy a prepaid Rs. 500 coupon at the entrance gate to enter a spacious dining room to eat food of your choice. Well, there is not much to choose from, says my restaurant critic friend Deepak Adhikari looking at the menu that, according to an waiter, has been trimmed for the day.”This is a new menu for me too,” says the waiter.”Today is the first day of our new Friday event.”

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No Nepali food in Delhi?

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Chirag Delhi, a congested neighborhood in South Delhi, is where many Nepali Momowallahs live. They make the momo, half cook and take to different parts of the city to sell.

Two days ago a woman identifying herself as a reporter with Time Out Delhi called me at my apartment number. It was not unusual though. Many Indian reporters call me to satisfy their queries: What are the Maoists doing in Kathmandu? Who is this General Gurung? Dinesh, do you know where the [visiting] President is staying in Delhi? What is Nepal’s expectation from India? This woman didn’t talk about politics. She wasn’t interested in Maoists or the Army. She asked me if I knew any Nepali restaurant in Delhi that served Nepali cuisine. Not entirely an unexpected question from a reporter of TOD but I didn’t have a quick and short answer. There is no Nepali restaurant in Delhi that serves Nepali food. At least I don’t know of any. Today I called up a Nepali national who has been living in Delhi for the last 12 years and works at an electronic equipment company to ask if he knew any. He didn’t know of a Nepali restaurant in Delhi either. The ‘fact’ could be astonishing given some other figures like these: Delhi is a city of 15 million people where, according to one estimate, 5,00,000 Nepalis live. So, the question is, do Nepalis go hungry in Delhi? पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्

Street Food of Delhi (and India)

chandni chowk delhi pani puri..

Pani Puri or Golgappa. Probably the most famous food in India?

The urban Indian streets are full of two things: people and food. Men and women of all ages and sizes standing around a small roadside food stall and eating is a common sight everywhere. Every market, big or small, upscale or otherwise, has several street food stalls. The trend is slowly growing in Kathmandu valley over the past few years (re: stalls selling momo, chatamari, bara etc. in New Road, Khicha Pokhari, New Baneshwor etc.) while the same is not new in Tarai parts of Nepal. In India, its the number that is intimidating. Perhaps that’s all understandable. It’s a country of more than a billion people. The street food culture is very much mainstream here. In these photos taken by my iPhone, one street food that is popular in several Indian cities including Delhi and Calcutta but is not considered really THE Indian, is missing. No prizes for guessing. That will be featured in a separate entry soon.

chandni chowk delhi kulfi faluda plate

That yellow noodle-like thing was new to me. And also the way they served..in a plate.

पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्

Chyura Set in New Road


Pics of Wagle by Yogesh who’s seen partly in the photo above- front. Other pics by Wagle

Background: I had this idea of a story about the rising inflation, worldwide and in Nepal. I wanted the real story, human story not just the hard facts. Though I am not an a-dollar-day man (fortunately I earn slightly more than that) I can still feel the heat of inflation in various forms. The price these days have skyrocketed. From a cup of tea to a plate of momo to a t-shirt to apartment rooms to bus fares to plane tickets. So I wanted to do a story about inflation for Koseli but unfortunately I couldn’t. There were too many other news assignments for the regular issue of Kantipur. Too many foreign observers were coming in to see the CA polls and I had to follow them. I had to cover too many press conferences and other stuffs. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्