A feast—also for the eyesHotel Himalayan Horizon in Dhulikhel is a peaceful escape from city life. The five restaurants housed in the hotel all offer distinctly different menus.
Dhulikhel has become a popular hotspot for weekend breathers. Desperation to be away from the cloying grasp of the polluted city is enough for people to pack their bags and find themselves soaking up the scenic snow-capped mountains sprawled in a pool-side sun lounger. Naturally, as a hub for weekend hangouts, hotels and resorts in the vicinity must up their game to stand out amidst the many hospitality centres to attract customers. In this regard, Hotel Himalayan Horizon is incredibly hard to miss; the hotel is huge, with five restaurants and multiple buildings also housing a pool and spa.
Upon entering the hotel grounds, it’s easy to feel a bit disoriented, especially for those with limited navigational skills. We couldn’t help but notice the contrast between the stark white colour of some buildings and the brick-red shades of others, which revealed the varying stages of renovation each of these buildings were in. The friendly waitstaff guided us to the pool-side dining area, where the ambience was warm and cosy—with the midday sun casting a brilliant glow and the pool a whirlpool of dark blue.
As we patiently waited for our food to arrive, Tamanatha Dhungana, the general manager, shared that Himalayan Horizon prides itself in offering a diverse range of cuisines. The five restaurants within the hotel premises—Buddha Garden, Panchakanya, Pavilion, Poolside Restaurant (a little on the face with that one) and Cafe Matina—serve distinctly different food, but they are all prepared in the same kitchen. Between our chit-chat, just as we were about to inquire about our food, the waitstaff dramatically brought us multiple plates of starters, poshly concealed by cloches.
Besides the flashy presentation, the starters were okay in taste. An array of dishes was laid out on our table—Chicken Chilly (Rs620), Paneer Chilly (Rs510), Crunchy Fried Fried Chicken (Rs670), Crunchy Fried Mushroom (Rs560), and Chicken Basket (Rs880). As we slowly munched through them all, the Chicken Basket—flattened chicken with a delightfully crispy breadcrumb coating—stood out the most.
Visually, both the Chicken Chilly and Paneer Chilly were hard to miss with their deep red hues amidst the golden-brown starters. Both were garnished with fresh coriander leaves and onions and came with a side of salad. Surprisingly, the two chilli dishes had slightly different tastes. The Chicken Chilly didn’t have the perfect blend of spicy and sweet we have come to associate with chilly dishes, making it somewhat bland. The Paneer Chilly, on the other hand, was on the spicier side.
The Crunchy Fried Chicken, coated in a cornflakes mixture, delivered a satisfying crunch, but like the chicken chilly, it could’ve benefitted from more seasoning to spruce up its overall flavour profile.
Following the hearty starters, we took a leisurely stroll around the hotel premises, eventually finding ourselves at the Buddha Garden restaurant for our main course. As we walked around a towering tree, a statue of a golden Buddha greeted us, fittingly in line with the restaurant’s name. Just beyond the tree, enthusiastic TikTokers were recording videos, and happy groups of friends were making funny poses near the pool ridge. The space had a lively atmosphere.
Once our appetite had somewhat adjusted, the waitstaff brought out the main courses. One dish among the four caught me by surprise with its visuals. The Chicken A-La King (Rs1015) resembled a chicken—albeit in a somewhat rough rendition. The chicken was slow-cooked to get a deep, burnt colour, and a tender yet slightly dry texture. Mashed potatoes were cleverly moulded to form a beak, tail and wings for the chicken, while the carrots added a playful pop of colour. Boiled vegetables and a side of salad were served alongside the dish. Whoever designed this had a good sense of humour.
Another chicken dish that was served was Chara Ko Sekuwa (Rs880). The sekuwa made with marinated chunks of chicken had a different taste compared to the other dishes. The sour and spicy chicken, with its smoky undertones, paired well with the rice and grilled vegetables it was served with. The next main dish was the Grilled Fish with Hollandaise Sauce (Rs900). The easiest dish to devour, the fish was crisp on the outside with a soft and light texture that soaked the lemony, buttery sauce just the right way.
The Chicken Biryani (Rs845), on the other hand, fell slightly short of expectations. While its presentation was visually appealing, with the deep brown—almost red—rice contrasting beautifully with the egg whites, the dish could’ve been elevated with a bit more spice and flavour. The savoury raita helped temper that a bit.
Overall, while the main dishes provided a diverse set of flavours, the starters could’ve used just a little more pizzazz to make them more memorable. Despite that, Hotel Himalayan Horizon makes for a peaceful and versatile getaway from the stresses of everyday life.
Hotel Himalayan Horizon
Location: Bansghari, Dhulikhel, Kavre
Opening hours: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm
Price: Inclusive of all taxes