An ensemble of flavoursLocated on the premises of Aloft Kathmandu Thamel, Nook Restaurant serves tasty intercontinental food.
Nook Restaurant, located within Aloft Kathmandu, offers a modern and creative dining experience. Situated on the L floor, this restaurant offers a diverse menu. As you enter, you’ll notice the open kitchen where the chefs work their magic, filling the dining area with enticing aromas. The well-lit interior is adorned with a few pieces of artwork, adding to the restaurant’s charm. For those who prefer outdoor dining, there’s also an alfresco seating area with views of the Chhaya Center.
The restaurant is led by Executive Chef Rajeev Shrestha, who boasts 23 years of culinary expertise, including four years at Nook Restaurant. During our visit, Chef Shrestha served us seven of his special dishes.
As we settled into our seats, eagerly awaiting our meals, the chef pleasantly surprised us with an Amuse Bouche—a delightful French term that translates to ‘mouth amuser’. These bite-sized delicacies are a charming way to welcome diners and stave off initial hunger pangs while preparing the palate for the forthcoming courses.
The presentation of this miniature delight was impeccable. Each piece featured a crispy bread base adorned with an array of toppings, including chicken, bacon, avocado, and cream. These toppings offered a medley of flavours, ranging from savoury to sweet, delicate to bold. The precise taste depended on each bite, though I did find the dish slightly saltier than expected, which marred the experience a bit.
French Onion Soup
A steaming bowl of French onion soup arrived at our table, crowned with golden, gooey cheese toast. The inviting aroma of caramelised onions and cheese filled the air. Tradition dictates that you dip the cheese-laden toast into the soup, relishing the comforting blend of flavours.
The broth exhibited a harmonious balance of sweet and savoury notes. The onions, slow-cooked to perfection, had taken on a golden hue that hinted at a depth of flavour within.
The generously topped cheese toast provided a delightful contrast of textures—from the initial crunch to the ensuing chewiness of the melted cheese. However, it’s worth noting that the richness of the cheese and the caramelised onions could make this dish somewhat heavy and potentially monotonous for the palate.
This salad’s star attraction was a generous serving of perfectly cooked quinoa. Its fluffy texture and nutty flavour formed the base for various ingredients, including avocado, walnut candy, asparagus, salmon, cream cheese, and pomegranate. The avocado, sliced uniformly, provided a creamy contrast to the quinoa’s delightful chewy texture, contributing a mild buttery note that harmonised with the overall salad. The walnut candy introduced a satisfying earthy crunch, while a bite of pomegranate offered a refreshing touch of natural sweetness.
However, the true standout was the impeccably cooked salmon, boasting a rich umami flavour that elevated the entire salad.
Pulao and Dal Makhani
The Pulao presented a vibrant visual appeal, with each grain of rice infused with the fragrant essence of Gulab Jal. Accompanied by almonds, cashews, pomegranate seeds, and thinly sliced apples, it offered a delightful variety of textures and flavours. The nuts contributed a satisfying crunch, the pomegranate seeds burst with juicy freshness, and the apple slices lent a natural sweetness to the dish.
On the other side of the plate was the creamy Dal Makhani. The black lentils blended well with the velvety tomato-based gravy. This dish provided a melt-in-the-mouth experience, with its aroma captivating the senses.
Chicken Tangdi Masala
The Chicken Tangdi Masala was my favourite from everything I tried at Nook Restaurant. The chicken drumsticks, marinated with herbs for hours, were bursting with flavour.
The juicy drumsticks were enveloped in a luscious tomato-based gravy that was neither overly spicy nor too mild, catering to a variety of tastes. However, the chicken was slightly chewier than expected and not as tender as one might desire.
Nook Restaurant’s Grilled Salmon was a visual delight. The salmon looked crispy, the sauteed asparagus and broccoli seemed fresh, and the mashed potato looked fluffy and mealy. And as I bit into the dish, I was pleased to find the texture of everything satisfying.
The grilled salmon was tender on the inside, with a rich, buttery flavour. The velvety mashed potatoes and the crisp asparagus complemented the protein. The steamed carrots added an earthy element and a natural sweetness. Together, these components created an aesthetically pleasing and satisfying dish.
Apple Mint Bavarian Entremet
The Apple Mint Bavarian Entremet looked soft and inviting, and when cut, one could see the layers of apple puree and apple jam. Accompanying it was a macaron with a crisp outer shell and a chewy and sweet interior. The entremet’s layers were meticulously crafted, and adding the macaron introduced a burst of colour, rendering the dessert almost too beautiful to dig into. The mint infusion, rather than being overpowering, brought a gentle breath of freshness that gracefully waltzed on the palate.
Location: Inside Aloft Kathmandu, Thamel, Kathmandu
Opening hours: 7:00 am to 10: 30 pm: Regular menu, After 10:30: Night menu
Smoking: Available on alfresco seating
Price: Inclusive of all taxes