Want to try some traditional Newari food? Here is just the place for you.
The whereabouts of Honacha is no secret to the people of Kathmandu and even some expats living here. For the rest of you, here’s a little information! Honacha is a very popular Newari restaurant in Kathmandu, located right behind Krishna Mandir at Patan Durbar Square. It is a small, dark place with walls stained from the greasy steam of shallow fried food that is prepared non-stop on the stove placed to the side of the room. The place serves authentic Newari snacks.
Run by a Newari family for generations, Honacha is over seven decades old. The items on the menu are limited. The place has been successfully serving the same food items for years now. They serve everything made out of Buffalo meat – Choyla (grilled meat with herbs), Kachila (spicy mince-meat), Dyakula (boiled meat in gravy) and Sukuti (dried meat). But that should not discourage the vegetarians, as their most famous dish, ‘Bara’ (also known as Nepali Pizza amongst the expats and tourists), is available in vegetarian, with eggs and with minced buff meat. Plain Bara (veg) topped with spicy potato gravy, tastes delicious. And for the meat lovers, you should definitely try meat gravy with Bara.
On most days, it is difficult to find seats, as Honacha is generally full. Sometimes they even run out of certain food items. Apart from the exotic Newari snacks, they serve Chaang, which is also known as Nepali beer. Made from barley, rice or millet; this drink white in color, almost tastes like ale. If you want some take-away Chaang for a party or a gathering, remember to carry empty bottles to Honacha. They charge rupees 60 for a liter of Chaang.
When you first set foot in this place, you could have reservations as to should you even go for the delicacies here? But as they say, once is not enough. The food here is completely savored by your taste buds.
I have been to Honacha several times with my expat and travelling friends, and never did any of them have a bad stomach after. So what is the secret of Honacha? Probably its scrumptious food, Chaang and the discolored ambience that keeps bringing people back!
Text & Images: Mithila Jariwala