PICS: MARCO POLO
The 'G' in G Cafe may as well stand for 'gizmo' or 'gadgetry'. Vishwa Maskey's two-year-old eatery in Boudhanath features a prototype touchscreen kiosk, signaling its plans for tech enhancements geared towards better, faster service.
Already, the kitchen staff operates an automated inventory that encourages efficiency and uniformity in food prep and used cooking oil is funneled to fuel the cafe's van and ovens. But how does the tech translate onto the palate? Not bad.
Maskey, a Kathmandu native, boasts "fast food not junk food." Quality isn't compromised for streamlined service. For instance, the mayo among other sauces is homemade and buns are baked fresh on the premises.
Popular with residents in the Buddhist quarters, particularly with saffron robes, G Cafe's menu is affordable and tenders feed typical of a local joint (Chinese, Continental, Indian, Nepali). On one end there are dependables like momos and American Chop Suey and on the other delectable cakes and good ole coffee.
Sandwiches at G Cafe are made with its own freshly baked whole wheat or multigrain loaves or croissants. The cheese croissant sandwich (Rs 120) decks greens, onions, tomatoes, and real cheese in a toasted mitt.
According to Maskey, fries should not be limited to the 'French'. He gave us a sampling of his new menu that features what he calls 'China Fry' and 'India Fry'. The 'China Fry' (Rs 110) is sliced tofu battered and fried, a great alternative to the potato classic.
The wide-open cafeteria with swivel chairs and outside seating mirrors Western fast food joints but does not deter customers from lounging about. Self-service, good cheap eats, free WiFi and natural lighting set up a reliable, casual hangout that could easily compete with an international franchise.
Get to Boudhanath, ditch the stupa entrance, cross the street and peer into an alley just after G Mart