Screened off with green curtains and an unassuming signboard, Cafe Aamu is situated just a few meters away from Bhatbhateni supermarket at Pulchowk. Small, cozy, and filled with little knickknacks, the restaurant had quite a few tables already occupied when our eager stomachs walked in.
While many Nepalese restaurants have books for menus, the small menu at Aamu is well thought out and focused. With an inclination towards pork and chicken, Aamu is definitely a place to go if you are craving the umami of meat. Clean, quiet, and comfortable, it has all the ingredients to ensure a good time.
After much confusion about what to eat, we sat down to dig in:
Chicken Aloo Chop:
Reminding me of homemade chop with each bite, this was creamy snack with a crisp fried outer layer. The chop, stuffed with chicken bits, and creamy potato was an introduction to the taste of Aamu. The chop was soft to bite into and the sauce worked well with the taste.
Crunchy on the outside and warm gooey cheese on the inside, the cheese ball asks you to relish each bite. Mildly flavored and soft, they were light and flavourful. Amongst the best cheese balls that I’ve tried. Better than Kwiks Cheese Balls.
Chicken Momo Soup:
The simplest recipes can turn out to be the most delicious dishes, and the Chicken momo soup was a testament to that. The simple chicken soup, garnished with fresh spring onions and scrumptious wantons definitely raised eyebrows. Each wanton was a dam of its own, holding back the flood of flavors that explodes on the first bite. Wonderfully flavored and the sesame oil did wonders.
An uncommon offering, the pork khutti with rice had a unique texture and flavor. Half expecting it to taste like goat khutti, the first spoonful came as a surprise. With soft and well worn down meat that was almost jelly like, and cooked in medium spicy red curry, the dish seemed well paired with the rice. The final touch was the fried methi that definitely made this one feel like home. (For fellow spicy eaters, go for the high spice version for maximum satisfaction!)
Full from all the previous generous servings along with it being a second lunch, we weren’t particularly looking forward to a final course. But with a label that said “Aamu’s Special Dessert”, ordering it was a must. And we made enough room for these tiny wonders.
Rather than flat malpwuas, Aamu’s resemble the Newari Gwara Mari. Round and unsweetened, these had a biscuit-like crunch outside and smooth creamy dough within. With the warm dripping honey adding the complementary sweetness and nuts adding texture, these were definitely special. A must try for everyone. Little puffs of heaven.
The restaurant, named after its chef and owner, has been running for over 3 years now. While Aamu is just a nickname that friends and food lovers have given her over the years, we were looking forward to meeting the woman behind the name. However, with the stream of guests that kept walking in, she was bound to the kitchen preparing her wonders and it would have be simply unjust to interrupt. The restaurant also holds regular open-mics along with art exhibitions. With friendly staff, comfortable space, and a unique passion towards food, Cafe Aamu definitely comes “with that extra dash of love.”