Arniko's Executive Lunch menu

Arniko Room at Hotel Annapurna is not a new restaurant and honors the famous Kathmandu artist who took Nepali architecture to China and beyond. Now, the inspiration is travelling in the opposite direction: from China to Nepal in the form of exclusive cuisine.

Since Chinese cuisine of dubious authenticity is available in even the simplest eatery in Kathmandu, many high-end restaurants have been setting themselves apart with ‘authentic’ Chinese taste.

Arniko has stuck to its time-tested recipes in its new ‘Executive Lunch’ menu, and from the queue outside one recent afternoon, the idea seems to work well. 

The special lunch menu is targeted at executives and bankers, and for this the restaurant location is just right: on Darbar Marg. Light and simple, the menu has three options each with three courses, including varieties of soup, fried rice, noodles, chicken and fish items, tons of greens and desserts.

Sous Chef Santosh Subedi says of the menu: “We wanted to tap Kathmandu’s exotic food craze and the willingness to spend a good amount for lunch, without compromising on health.”

Chef Subedi joined Arniko Room nearly three years ago after a longish culinary stint in Dubai. He calls himself ‘The Nepali Dumpling Master’ (sounds grander than ‘Momo Man’), pioneering new additions to the menu like Mantou Bun (a Chinese steamed bun).

On Chinese New Year, Arniko Room laid out a spread that included a Shitake Chicken soup, an authentic Chinese dish that became the talk of the town. In contrast, not many enjoyed the Chinese style handmade noodles the kitchen introduced for its Chinese noodle festival. The Chef took this as a cue to stick with what customers really like, rather than on ‘Indo-Chinese’ items.

Read also: A real taste of China, Ziyu Lin 

 In fact, many of the restaurant’s customers love its Chinese cuisine so much that they have ‘regular’ orders. One recent afternoon, a group of Chinese and Nepali customers sat down at a table for four and ordered: “The regular: Schezwan fried rice or noodles, Hong Kong or Kung Pao chicken and ginger prawn.”
Chef Subedi says the restaurant’s secret is that it doesn’t have any secrets: “We do not use MSG or any other seasonings, the taste comes from the balance of the flavours of salt, pepper, sauces and fresh ingredients.”

Even though the number of Chinese tourists in Kathmandu is rising, the restaurant mostly sees Nepali and multi-cultural customers enticed to come again and again by the new Executive Lunch menu. 

Executive Lunch at Arniko Room 

Sunday- Friday, 12-3pm, Rs1,500++

Hotel Annapurna, Darbar Marg, (01) 4221711

Option 1 dessert: Darshan with ice cream