White tents, yellow lights, potted plants, and a breathtaking view of the Boudhanath Stupa, these are the first few things you will notice when you are at Gotama Rooftop Restaurant in Boudha, Kathmandu, located right above Himalayan Java Coffee. It’s a calm rooftop eatery with minimalistic yet elegant decor.
The color white is the theme of this restaurant. It’s probably one of the reasons why many people want to visit. The color lends a soothing vibe. The yellow lamp that hangs in each tent and pink flowers wrapped around on the railings give a much needed pop of color. But the best part is the view this place offers. It’s even better at night when the stupa is glowing with warm yellow lights around it. If you listen closely, you will hear Buddhist hymns playing from afar. It’s really peaceful.
Most prefer to sit on one of the tables right beside the railing. So these seats are always packed. Luckily, we were able to grab one for ourselves. As we settled in, we were approached by a server. I went through the menu and, at first glance, it looked good. From Italian to Korean and Indian to Nepali, there were several cuisines. No matter whom you go with, there will be something that caters to everyone’s taste.
We started out with some drinks. We had two mocktails and one cocktail. They were exceptionally good. The first one we tried was Blue Ocean, a mocktail. It’s mint lemonade with some blue syrup. It was lip-smackingly good. The other one didn’t have a name. It’s their special mocktail to be added to the menu and we were the first one to try it. The drink was a blend of lemon, watermelon, and carrot. It was an unlikely combination so I was skeptical at first. Surprisingly, it was quite good. The cocktail we tried was called Lemon Drop. It’s a vodka based cocktail in a martini glass. It’s a refreshing drink for hot weather. You could definitely give it a try.
A good thing about their drinks is that fresh ingredients are used instead of flavored syrup. But the drawback is most of their cocktails and mocktails use seasonal fruits. So the drink might not be available all year round.
For food, we tried Chicken Kimbap, Chicken Biryani and Pork Chop. Out of these, we liked Chicken Kimbap the most. It’s a little different from what you get at a Korean restaurant in terms of taste. But it was good. I didn’t quite like the kimchi they served along with their kimbap since it wasn’t technically kimchi, but rather a pickle with carrots and radishes. The flavor was that of a kimchi but it was missing the core ingredient, cabbage. But if you are to ignore technicalities and just go for the taste, this dish is absolutely delicious.
The Pork Chop wasn’t bad either. Although I don’t particularly like fatty meat, I couldn’t say no to this dish. Even better, this dish was nutritionally well balanced. The pork was placed on top of mashed potatoes and stir fried veggies with pepper. The meat was a little dry for my liking. But all in all, the dish was filling and satisfying.
I had the same issue with Chicken Biryani. Again, the meat was too dry for me. But the flavors were good. There are some people who don’t like dried fruits in their biryani. To those, I wouldn’t recommend this dish. You will get a bit of dried fruit in every bite. This dish comes with some salad, papad and raita on the side. The portion is enough for two people.
More than the food, it’s the view and the vibe this place has to offer that draws in a lot of people. It’s the best place to grab some drinks, relax, and have a good evening with your friends and family. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, it’s almost impossible to find a table. Unfortunately, since the place gets packed quickly, the restaurant doesn’t usually take reservations on these days. The best days to visit Gotama Rooftop Restaurant, I’d say, are on weekdays when the place is usually empty when you will be able to grab yourself a seat with a good view and enjoy the surroundings.
- Chicken Biryani
- Chicken Kimbap
- Pork Chop
Location: Boudha, Kathmandu
Meal for two: Rs 1,500
Opening hours: 8:30 am – 8:30 pm
Online payment: Accepted
Parking: Not available