Nepali Times
Review
Japanese Crepe House Station

SOMEPLACE ELSE by MARCO POLLO


PICS: MARCO POLO
Outside the white table cloths of any great gustatory capital are portable kitchens, sidewalk hawkers and hole-in-the-walls, at which loyal locals and the occasional tourist queue for a quick fix. These junctures of brief transactions not only afford conveniences that seam the urban patchwork but also intimate a city's romantic allure of anonymity and seemingly endless possibilities. To this end Kathmandu is no exception, where open-air finger food (mostly fried) is such a common fixture, often taken for granted.

Around the corner from Tip Top's famed samosas and croquets in New Road, the four-month-old Japanese Crepe House Station caught my eye with its hand-painted, clean typography befitting of an artless lemonade stand. But in lieu of lemons, street side fare is consecrated in the unlikely marriage of the land of the rising sun and the quintessential French flapjack. A mock display of plated crêpes in variation, which could either tempt or creep, is typical of manicured models found in the vitrines of Tokyo sweet shops and ice cream parlours. All smiles, orange bonnets and matching aprons complete the outfits of the station's coquettish crêpières who dub the cookie-cutter charm of Orange Juleps and Western fast food chains.

Fitted with a flattop crêpe pan, wooden trowels (batter spreader) and a long steel spatula, the station is ostensibly authentic. Crêpes are made to order and customized to one's preference. The batter is reliable and uniform, but cooking time can be extended a tad for that perfect golden edge.

Fillings are limited to sweet combinations of seasonal fruit—namely strawberry, pineapple, banana, mango, and apple—standard ice cream flavours, chocolate sauce and cinnamon.

Uniquely Nepali, the Khuwa crêpe, stuffed with khuwa (that sapid milk solid somewhere between fresh cheese and curd) and enveloped with whipped cream, is a local favourite.

Missing are classic crêpe ingredients like lemon, powdered sugar, or Nutella (or a pseudo-brand of the hazelnut chocolate spread), as well as savoury crêpes or galettes, easily prepared with a hunk of local cheese and a sprinkling of garden herbs.

It's do or die for alfresco food stalls like the Japanese Crepe House, where common comforts and irresistible price tags make the grade. It may be too early to gauge if crêpes will catch on or kick to the curb, but already, the warm handheld snack is popular with teenie boppers and could only compliment ubiquitous juice stands and mithais. With a second stand in Sundhara already, the Japanese Crepe House is an eager venture, which if tweaked, could make a blissful blintz.

From Bishal Bazar walk towards Darbar Square and stop before crossing Freak Street



1. mugget
too bad the choices are so limited. Pretty much anything you can put in an omelette you can put in a crepe. I love spinach, cheese, and mushrooms. I'm sure channa daal would go nicely in a crepe. and what's a crepe without nutella or lemon curd? they clearly are lacking in imagination and would do well to break out of the box on this one. Hey, even Kathmanduites can become Francophiles! 

2. Gheo Chaku Naran.
 #1Mugget
        Go to Jhamsikhel  near British School for French, Crepe Suzettes.


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LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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