Baithak Restaurant at Babar Mahal Revisited has a dramatic and regal, almost Victorian setting, with crystal and linens and where diners are attended by waiters dressed in royal costume and watched over by looming portraits of Ranas. The ancestral portraits and live cultural show adds cherry to the icing. Dining at Baithak allows you to be a part of the Feast of the Rana Maharajas.
Baithak Restaurant is made up of a royal banquet hall, fit for a prince, walls lined with oil paintings of the Rana family, resplendent in thick velvet capes and decorated head dresses in rich reds and golds. Long wooden tables are set with starched white napkins, crystal ware and shining silver utensils. Stepping into Baithak is truly a magical experience, and that’s all before the food has arrived.
“The ambiance of Baithak Restaurant is of an old bygone era, how Ranas used to live,” explains Pandey. “This is how they used to eat.”
Baithak’s food presentation is difficult to rival. The meal begins with a silver tray of snacks, including momos, pickled peanuts, potatoes, achar and bara, a lentil donut. Next comes a flavorful soup and then the main course, an impressive silver tray divided into sections, each one brimming with traditional Nepali foods that are as delectable as they are visually appealing. There are servings of succulent wild boar, sauteed spinach, black dal, potatoes and bamboo shoots, mushrooms, marinated paneer (cottage cheese), chicken and a number of zesty achars.
The flavors, food presentation, service, ambiance and attention to detail make a visit to Baithak a unique experience that will leave the visitor delighting in the impeccable culinary and historical experience.
“Everyone wants to be a part of history. People think: ‘What was it like when the Taj Mahal was built in India?’ or ‘How did the Maharajas of Nepal treat themselves?’” says Pandey. “It’s not possible to live in that history anymore, but to have an experience like this is always fun. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
By Anil Blon