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Thursday, January 2, 2014

When in Nepal : Eat Like A Local

Perhaps, Nepal to most people is only synonymous to Mt. Everest, the roof of the world.
Or probably, first time travelers and tourists would think of Buddhist and Hindu temples,
    Durbar Squares and other UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While it is true that this incredibly
    fascinating South Asian country boasts of exotic cultures and rich traditions, Nepal is little known
    to be a gastronomic paradise. I myself was surprised to find pizza, burgers, dumplings, noodles
    in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Patan and Nagarkot when I went there with my family last August
    Indubitably, travels & tours are best enjoyed when you're with locals. In our case,
    my family and I tried our very best to communicate with the few people we met from streets
    to eateries.

We arrived past lunch time in Kathmandu, so immediately after checking in at our hotel in Thamel,
we headed to Kathmandu Durbar Square. However, prior to being mesmerized by the grandeur of the temples built mostly in 1700s, we satisfied our hungry growling tummies with these Nepalese cuisine. Behold. These were our first bites in Kathmandu...

Momo, the Nepalese (Newar) dumplings. Of course, we chose to taste local food as early as our first meal. We ordered Momo in two ways, fried and steamed. We opted for vegetable momos instead of chicken or buffalo. Oh and by the way, we had them at a rooftop restaurant just a few steps before Kathmandu Durbar Square called, Cosmo De' Café!
Another remarkable Nepalese dish we had from Cosmo De' Café was their Cosmo Special Noodles. It reminded us that we're still in Asia. It tasted like Pancit Bihon from the Philippines and Singapore Beehon from our neighboring ASEAN country. Delicious, actually!


If you like coffee, and you're in Kathmandu, it's a must for you to try Himalayan Java Coffee at Basantapur Durbar Square, just a few steps from Kumari's Palace (the living Goddess of Kathmandu).
It's always good to taste local blends when traveling to a new place!
For our dinner on our first day in Nepal, we had simple plates from a restaurant tucked in Mandala Street in Thamel. We had Fish and Chips, and some Fried Chicken, all washed down with red wine that came with it and Pineapple Juice for our kid.

On our second day in Nepal, we spent and enjoyed Bhaktapur Durbar Square and its laterals. We dined our brunch at Shiva’s Cafe Corner (Authentic Kitchen). We wanted to taste more authentic Nepalese dishes so we ordered their breakfast specialties – Dragon’s meat and dinosaur’s eggs. Of course, the last part was a big joke! We had these plates of continental breakfast plus hot coffee with milk and chocolate for Gabby. Everyning’s fine except for the bacon strips. It has a little taste that our tastebuds disagreed. It must be buffalo’s; we regret that we didn’t ask.
For lunch, we were around Nyatapola Temple, still in beautiful Bhaktapur, so we decided to try the local's recommendations, Nyatapola Café.
We had Mixed Chow Mein, Macaroni and Cheese for Gabby and Clubhouse Sandwich that had buffalo instead of chicken. This time, it’s for real that we had buffalo on sandwich. I prefer it rather than chicken because there’s outbreak of bird flu virus in Kathmandu during our visit. For dessert, we had the famous yoghurt of Bhaktapur. Creamy, tangy and cheesy. Delicious! Huge servings and affordable too!
Third day was spent in Patan Durbar Square, another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal. Where did we eat? We chose another rooftop restaurant with an overlooking view of the plaza and a place where our kiddo could have something he pleased. We dined our first meal of our third day at Café du Temple in Patan.
The meal was apparently simple, yet what made it remarkable was the experience of looking at the priceless view while you sip your coffee and dunk your fork at your fried eggs and toasts.
On our next day, we headed to Boudhanath Stupa and Swayambunath. At Boudha, there were several options for you to eat in. As for us, we preferred another rooftop restaurant called, Café Himalayan. It gave us a great view of the stupa in its glory! Café Himalayan also served us our refuge during the slight drizzle. We ordered light snacks like pizza, mixed fried rice (Nepalese style, of course) and sweet hot banana (or what we call locally in the Philippines as banana cue).
On that same day, we savored our dinner back in Thamel. We found this restaurant called, Café New Orleans with laid back and non-intimidating ambiance and surprisingly affordable prices on the menu. Presentation and servings were impressive and huge. Highly recommended!!! Two thumbs up!

At Café New Orleans in Thamel, would you believe our palates and taste buds were delighted at the most tender and tasteful Beef Steak, Pork Steak, and Mongolian Beef and Noodles? And for our thirst-quenchers, we had Mango Iced Blended drink, Tropical Fruit Juice and Chocolate Drink for our son. Everything was refreshingly good!
Before we departed Thorong Peak Guest House, our hotel in Thamel, and prior heading to Nagarkot, we had our breakfast of course. The hotel menu's simple and we had satisfying plates.
Everything's OK for me, except for the cheese in Nepal. Most of the restaurants and eateries we dined in used yak cheese. So it's so Greek to my taste buds, nonetheless was part of the Nepalese experience!
Our last two days in Nepal were spent in Nagarkot, an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level! We stayed at Peaceful Cottage & Café du Mont.
Coffee for us, particularly at a chilly weather up at 7,000 feet was a must! Definitely a must!
Pizza, Mixed Fried Rice, Chapatti and Nepalese platter of dahl and curry.  Yum!
Dessert we shared : Warm & creamy Custard Pudding with Mushroom. Totally new to our taste buds! With due respect to Nepalese, I was used to and still favor something cold and chilled for dessert.
Our last dinner in Nepal was simple plates of noodles, fried rice and club sandwich, still prepared Nepali style of course. Something we're proud we've tasted! Nothing comes close to authentic Nepalese cuisine!
When traveling to a new place, one must really sample local dishes for a complete sensory experience!
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people,
you might better stay at home.” 
- James A. Michener
*For Ultimate Travel and Tours Experience in Nepal, this blog recommends WithLocals.Com

Sunday, December 25, 2011


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Sunday, August 21, 2011


taken last 07 july 2011 at george town, penang, malaysia at its 3rd year celebration as one of unesco's world heritage sites.


It's been long while since I last updated this blog. It's my second virtual home, actually. Nonetheless, I decided to keep it. From now on, I'll post one photo at a time...Hope it inspires people somehow. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


This was the last movie I saw a day before I left for Penang, Malaysia to work. I watched it with my wife and our preschooler kid in Greenbelt 1, Makati City. I believe it's one of the most brilliantly crafted and intelligently written movies of all time. I smell Oscars next year for Inception.

Have you watched it too? What's your take on this movie? How do you like its ending?

Monday, August 9, 2010


I need to restart and rebuild my family's future by working abroad.

I thank God for all the blessings coming our way despite the challenges life has been throwing. God is indeed a great provider.

I just miss my family so much. Thanks to Skype, it melts my homesickness away.

...wish me luck on being a medical educator on foreign shores.
...come follow me as I take this blog to Penang, Malaysia and beyond.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

PRESS RELEASE : IBAYO, by Barrio Fiesta

Inspired by the years of their clan's success, brothers Tyrone and Tristan Ongpauco, third generation members of the Barrio Fiesta Restaurant Chain clan, decided to create a bistro style restaurant.

Having the desire to carry on the rich culture and heritage of Barrio Fiesta, the Ibayo concept was put to life. Ibayo, literally meaning "the next town," offers the same classic Filipino favorites such as the famous Crispy Pata, the mouth-watering Sinalab Special, and the crave-satisfying Mama Chit's Special. While loyal to its Barrio Fiesta roots, Ibayo offers a new and exciting line of signature food and cocktail redefining the classic Filipino dining experience with a modern bistro twist.

To complete the Ibayo experience, it is highly recommended for one to try the Ibayo Sunset. Other must-try concoctions include the Skywalker, the Two Alpha, and the Mango Bongo - each offering a different range of flavors that will surely leave you asking for more. Ibayo also offers a bar chow menu including reinvented Filipino favorites like Inihaw na Liempo, Grilled Tuna Belly, Sizzling Mushrooms, Pork Barbeque and Sizzling corn that will definitely satisfy your short cravings. For the enthusiasts looking for an out-of-the-ordinary meal, Ibayo recommends starting with the Ibayo Firesticks, Ibayo White Adobo, and the Ibayo Crispy Catfish.

Ibayo transforms from a casual dining atmosphere to a “chillax” place that escalates into an ultimate night-out, let-your-hair-down experience. Situated in the San Miguel by the Bay strip, it is a great place to unwind and catch up with friends over a delicious selection of food and stimulating drinks. Ibayo makes for a unique dining experience perfect for get-togethers, food-trips, as well as celebrations.

Ibayo Sunset
The ultimate warm weather party potion. A sweet and refreshing fusion of mango, pineapple, orange, rum, and grenadine to warm up your mood.


An astronomical phenomenon of blended orange juice & Vodka, perfect to loosens things up!

Not too strong, not too light. Malibu mixed with pineapple juice makes a perfect tropical concoction. Oleh!

Two Alpha
A very brave concoction of vodka, tequila, rum, and gin with a splash of club soda ready to blow your mind off. Beware.

Mango Bongo
Go loco over this unbeatable tropical mix of mango juice, white rum, and mint leaves, tickles & tingles at the same time.


Ibayo White Adobo

A different take on Philippine’s most popular dish. The best chicken and pork adobo cooked sans the soy sauce.

Ibayo Crispy Catfis
Deep-fried and extra crispy catfish served with our Barrio Fiesta bagoong and green mango salad.

Ibayo Firesticks
Zesty jalapeños & cheese rolled up and lightly fried to a spicy, exciting and challenging appetizer. Go once… and more!

The resto-bar is located at Bldg. G Unit 7-8 San Miguel by the Bay Seaside Brgy. 076 SM Bay City, Central Business Park 1-A Pasay City, open from 3pm to 12mn on weekdays and 3pm to 2am on weekends. It is also open for lunch on holidays.

All text and photos were provided by Eventus Kinetix for Ibayo.

Special Thanks to the owners of Ibayo and to Ms. Abigail Delos Santos for the invite.