Photo Hunt #40: Utensils

Wow, it’s been more than 6months since I last posted an entry for Photo-hunt. I miss you all guys…. I hope old friends find me again here 🙂

Here’s my entry for this week’s theme:

utensils
It was, about two years ago, that I had one of the most delightful dining experiences of my life. With old-world Nepal setting the tone, food was served in antique, traditional bowls and heavy silverwares. Amazing. Come with me as I relive my old-world dining experience in Nepal.

Closer view:

Litratong Pinoy #22 : Lila (violet)

Ang talong… bow!

LP  Lila, Violet

Ang talong ay isa lamang sa maraming gulay na karaniwang sangkap sa simple ngunit masustansyang pagkain ng mga Nepali. Hinahaluan ito ng sari-saring spices upang mas lalong sumarap. Karamihan sa kanila ay vegetarian.

Kuha ito nung pumunta ako sa Kathmandu. Maagang natapos ang session namin nung araw na iyon kaya napagpasyahan naming mag-ikot-ikot sa Kathmandu. Napadaan kami sa palengke at niyaya ko ang mga kasama kong pumasok. Mahilig talaga akong magpunta sa mga public markets at magmasid-masid. Kahit na maraming tao, maingay, at iba’t-ibang amoy ang nalalanghap – naa-aliw ako!

Tinitignan ko kung ano ang kaibahan nito sa palengke sa atin, kung anu-anong mga bagay na wala sa atin na meron dito, at higit sa lahat, pinagmamasdan ko kung paano mamalengke ang mga Nepali. Usisera ba?

Wordless Wednesday #63 : Sadhus of Nepal

sadhus of nepal

These are some of the sadhus I met while sightseeing in the ancient city of Bakhtapur, just outside Kathmandu. Initially, I got scared when I first saw them -thick, matted dreadlocks and ochre body paints – but I was later told they were totally harmless. The sadhus are generally revered for their holiness, having chosen to leave behind the material world to focus on their spiritual perfection, however, there are some sadhus who are feared for their curses. Do you know what Khumbh Mela is? This is a mass gathering of all sadhus in (one of the four points along) the sacred rivers of India and it happens only once every three years.

See other Worldless entries here.

Experiencing old-world Nepal

… at Dwarika Hotel.
Okay, I didn’t actually stay there but I did dine there on one occasion with my colleagues.

After a 30-min ride from Hotel Yak and Yeti, where we were staying, we were dropped off in the street amidst the hustle-bustle of the evening rush hour. It felt odd that we were standing out there in the biting cold of the night and in front of a nondescript doorway.

We reluctantly stepped in, not knowing whether we were in the right place at all. Once inside, we were all surprised at what we saw!
classical nepali architecture2
It felt like I was in a different world.

Dwarika is a beautiful product of a restoration effort spanning 25-30 years.
Built of brick and having ornate architectural bits and pieces added (hand-carved windows, door frames, pillars, etc.), all of which were obtained when old traditional buildings were torn down long ago. Additional wood carvings on the windows, the ceramic sculptures, as well as the pottery were all made in a workshop inside the premises. The result is a gorgeous piece of property providing a luxurious, old-world oasis from the chaotic capital; no wonder Dwarika was chosen as one of the World Heritage sites in Nepal.

We waited for the others at the lovely courtyard surrounded by amazing structures…
classicnepaliarchitecture6

classical nepali architecture

classical nepali architecture4

Warming our hands…(secretly hoping for a Gurka soldier to come out of nowhere!)
Of course, some of us couldn’t help but take photos.
warming our hands

… while a lone Nepali dancer provided entertainment as we waited to be ushered in to Krishnarpan restaurant.
nepali dancer

On our way through, we passed by a beautiful swimming pool. It must be great to come back to this hotel from a whole day’s exploration/sight-seeing of Kathmandu, or after a few days of tough trekking, and relax in the pool’s warm embrace.
swimming pool

Our dinner at Krishnarpan Restaurant restaurant, located inside Dwarika’s property, was an event in itself. We were greeted by pretty restaurant staff clad in different costumes representative of the different ethnic groups of Nepal. Before entering the restaurant, they help you wash your hands in a large bowl placed against a wall adorned with pictures of international celebrities and important people who have dined in the restaurant. I can lay claim that I was in the same spot where Prince Charles of England stood and washed his hands. Haha… as if.
wash hands before eating

Inside were rows of low tables tastefully decked in a red and black motif. The picture below didn’t capture the lovely setting well.
Notice the intricately-carved mirrors and wood-work?
inside krishnarpan

We sat on the floor with cushioned low chairs and the restaurant staff provided aprons so that we didn’t get food on our clothes.
wearing the apron

gerth and me

Food was served in antique, traditional bowls and with heavy old silverware.
utensils

We had a six-course meal – there was a choice from 6 to 22 course meals, vegetarian or non-vegetarian – and every course was a satisfying gastronomic experience.

Samaya Bajee, an assortment of food – lentils, potatoes, rice, etc., usually served as appetizer during religious ceremonies.
appetizer

Roti, Nepali griddle bread served with roasted mushroom & sautéed spinach)
nepali dish

Momo, steamed dumplings stuffed with minced meat served and with silam sauce
nepali dish2

Bodi Soup, bean soup cooked with aromatic Nepali herbs
nepali dish3

Traditional Nepali rice wine and Lapse Achar, loquat pickle
nepali dish4

This is how they served wine…
wine is served

Sada Bhuja, steamed Himalayan long-grain rice; Dal, lentil tempered with Himalayan herbs; Bhanta Ko Tarkari, aubergine curry; Mis Mas Tarkari, assorted vegetables cooked with Nepali herbs; and Kukhura Ko Masu, cubed chicken, also cooked with Nepali herbs
nepali dish5

Malpuwa Khuwa, Nepalese mini pancake topped with Khuwa
nepali dessert

I finished my meal with a nice cup of masala tea which I enjoyed tremendously. The delicious food, the visual delights, and the olde-worlde feel of the restaurant made for a unique dining experience. As an added touch, the restaurant printed our names individually on the menu (excellent for a souvenir) and handed out a give-away just before we were led out the door.

To think, I had only been in Krishnarpan restaurant and had a look around the premises on our way to the restaurant. I had not actually been inside the hotel itself and I can only imagine the same opulence and atmosphere inside the hotel, especially in the rooms. Obviously, Dwarika is not for budget-travelers, but the glowing feedback from very happy guests prove that the $$$ rates there are worth every single penny.

I have to agree.
I might not have spent a night there, yet, but the memorable dining experience I had that night made me want to come back. So now I am fervently hoping to return there with R for an anniversary getaway! Libre naman ang mangarap e, di ba?

Photo Hunt #28 and 29: Wrinkled/Beauty

I am re-posting the image below, same one I used in last week’s PH. For some reason, I couldn’t leave my comment and link at the PH home.

Anyways, I used the photo again because I think last week and this week’s theme can be found in the said photo.

wrinkled beauty black and white

Her face may be marred by age and years of hard work , yet, I find her beautiful. Who says being wrinkled and old can’t be beautiful? The picture above portrays both.

Litratong Pinoy #009 : Mithi (Wish)

Sa uulitin, nais ko pong ihabol ang aking litrato para sa linggong ito. Ang tema ngayong linggo ay mithi, o wish, sa wikang Filipino. Kaya naman ito po ang aking naisipang isali:

himalayan range4

Bata pa ako ay talagang pinangarap ko nang makita ng malapitan ang Mt. Everest na siyang tinaguriang pinakamataas na bundok sa buong mundo. Kung hindi naman ito posible ay kahit na lamang sa paanan nito. Natupad naman ang minimithi kong ito nuong nakaraang Disyembre nang ako ay pumunta ng Nepal para sa isang conference. Hindi man ako nakasama sa mga duon sa chartered flight papuntang tuktok mismo, nakita ko naman ito mula sa bintana ng eroplanong sinakyan ko pauwi. Tulad ng Mayon Volcano, hindi basta-basta nagpapakita ang Mt. Everest, kaya dyan sa litrato ang tuktok nito ay nakabalot sa ulap. Sayang, ano po?

Pero teka, yan nga ba ang Mt. Everest? Kayo na po ang humusga dahil ako man ay nalilito kung alin dyan ang bundok na pakay ko *lol*

Sana sa susunod, makapunta naman ako sa Bhutan, Tibet at Mongolia. Iyan ang mga pinapangarap kong puntahang mga bansa dito sa Asya.