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Restaurant Review - OR2K Kathmandu

When you move to Asia, the last thing on your list of things to do is exploring Mediterranean cuisine. So it was with us. We were expecting to delve into Nepali’s varied dishes, with a sprinkling of food from some other nationalities, but one day we were told that Kathmandu has an Israeli restaurant. Even though we hadn’t expected this, we knew that Nepal receives many Israeli tourists every year. This is evident when you start trekking in the Himalayas. Many restaurants provide information in Hebrew, in addition to the usual English signage.

So we decided that we’d go and have a look-see at this restaurant. Two explanations are given in their menu about the curious name, “OR2K.” Apparently “Or” is a Hebrew word which means “light.” While the original meaning of the name was “Light 2000,” some have started calling it “Light to Kathmandu.

So one day we laced up our walking shoes and set off to find it. It’s tucked away in an alley in Thamel, but still easy to find, as it’s close to one of the main streets in that neighbourhood. Up the stairs we went and there it was: a spacious, inviting room, where almost everyone reclined on the floor in front of low tables. It instantly creates an atmosphere of leisurely meals with treasured friends.

They focus on vegetarian dishes from Mediterranean countries, with many vegan, raw, and gluten-free options. We decided to dive into their most popular meal, the OR2K Combo Platter. In a traditional Nepali copper plate, an arrangement of falafel balls, several sauces and dips and some lettuce is brought to your table, accompanied by a bowl of naan and focaccia. The labane and baba ganoush were my favourites, but the hummus, tahini and matbucha were all fabulous as well.

That-Man ordered some Turkish coffee, which is something he’s been curious about for many years. It met all his expectations and more, but he warns that those who prefer gentrified varieties of the brew stay clear. It has the distinction of being the most healthy of all coffees and delivers a potent, uncomplicated experience. Yours truly, of course, do everything possible to avoid beans, and opted instead for the fresh mint lemonade. It’s like arriving at an oasis when you’ve been steaming in Kathmandu’s twisting alleyways for a few hours.

Budgetwise, you may expect to pay $5-10 per person for a main course and drink.

This is a relaxed, inviting, and well-serviced restaurant with a varied menu, and we gladly recommend it to all.

We left OR2K with full tummies and satisfied palates, yet as soon as we hit the busy streets again, That-Man asked, “Where is that kebab place the Malaysians told us about?” One day, we hope to tell you about “that kebab place.”

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