Himalayan Trout Festival review: Nepali trouts get international makeover

The best thing about international chain hotels in Kathmandu is the food served there. The chefs who have travelled all across the world come up with different ways to prepare unique foods using local ingredients, which is sure to please everyone’s palate.

One the leading hotels of the city, Radisson Hotel has tried something different as it has launched the Himalayan Trout Festival at the Olive Garden. Initially planned to go on for 10 days, they have increased the duration after receiving good reactions from the customers, who loved their dishes. “The reaction was so great we had to continue it for a longer duration,” adds Utpal Kumar Mondal, Executive Chef, who has worked in this business for over 30 years.

The chef further adds that whenever he does these food festivals, he tries to make something unique and original using products from the country itself. This time, the product is trout, an item that is dear to a lot of Nepalis.

“Trout is Kathmandu’s own baby, and due to its high demands, we here wanted to promote it because what has been done to promote food in Nepal so far is not enough,” adds Chef Mondal. Trout has its own character and has evolved a lot since it was first introduced in Nepal many years ago.

Normally, trouts in Nepal are either fried or cooked over charcoal or make a curry, but what Chef Mondal has done with these fish is quite distinctive.

Everything was handpicked and was created after a month-long experimentation. “There was hit and trial with a lot of items on the menu. For example, we tried blending trout and prawn, which made a really flavourful dish,” adds Mondal.

Chef Utpal Kumar Mondal

If you are thinking of visiting the Garden, you can try two of his creations from the Himalayan Trout Menu. The first dish can be the five spice rubbed oven roasted trout. The dish is served with black rice risotto, Greek salad and orange, almond and gruyere sauce.

Five spice rubbed oven roasted trout

This fish has a warm, sweet and aromatic flavour and is completely different to the fried trout available around the hilly outskirts of the Valley. The dish has a certain kick to it and you get a feel that the five spices make the dish exotic.

The black rice risotto which has a mild, creamy and earthy flavour compliments the dish along with the Greek salad. The blend of all items is quite good. You are definitely recommended not to miss it.

The second dish for you can be the Australian bacon wrapped grilled trout with avocado pesto. This is even better than the earlier dish and it comes along with spaghetti and stuffed artichoke salad. The bacon and the fish go well with one another.

Australian bacon wrapped grilled trout with avocado pesto

Bacon’s smokey flavour and fat is soaked into the grilled trout which makes it different to other dishes. The fish dish also goes well with spaghetti and the avocado pesto. The artichoke is also a unique ingredient in the dish; it is stuffed with caramelised onion.

Apart from these, there are other items on the menu too. There is grilled Himalayan trout which comes with mango hollandaise, gavi wine marinated poached rainbow trout, panko fried herb marinated trout, baked lasagne and Himalayan trout and scallop tower and smoked trout, which comes with a unique sandakphu tea flavour.

All these dishes are different and are not available in the Valley, which gives even regulars at the Olive Garden a new experience.

Olive Garden also has a wide range of wines to choose from, which will complement the dishes.

Where: Olive Garden, Hotel Radisson Kathmandu

When: 6:30 PM onwards till September 30

How much: Rs 1,099++ per dish

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Pant is a journalist currently working for Onlinekhabar. He writes on movies and music, travel and mountains, and culture among others.

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