PICS: ANNE RENZENBRINK
But Nurbu Shrestha, the owner of the long-established bakery in the heart of Thamel, knows what he is doing. He has been to Germany and Switzerland to learn whole-wheat and multigrain recipes, a profitable idea, for almost 35 years now.
A good Western breakfast needs croissants, proper croissants. Sure, the real pain au chocolat tastes better, but compared to the small boring pastries called "croissant" that are sold elsewhere in Kathmandu, the chocolate croissants at Pumpernickel (Rs 60) are big, have flavour and fill you up.
The honey pancakes (Rs 160) are ok, but nothing more. In fact, I've had better pancakes in Nepal and we better just trust the Americans on that.
A much better alternative is the broad range of homemade cakes. With classics such as black forest, cheesecake, carrot cake or linzer cake behind its counter, Pumpernickel is well equipped. I recommend the carrot cake (Rs 80). Baked with cinnamon and raisins, it tastes just like it would if you make it at home. And I have high standards, because carrot cake is one of my favourites.
You can get other kinds of breakfast – cereal, porridge and omelette – served in the homely decorated place that exhibits photographs by the owner's friend and renowned photographer Mani Lama. Customers, mainly chatting in English, French, Dutch or German, can use WiFi and take a break from city life in the welcoming garden.
I have been to many bakeries abroad to satisfy my craving for real bread and quite often left them disappointed. But I highly recommend Pumpernickel bakery for good breakfast, afternoon tea and cake or just a relaxing dose of caffeine. If only it actually sold Pumpernickel.
Walk towards the entrance of Mandala Street in Thamel, the cafe is on the opposite lane