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Ode to Serendipity

A wan sun meekly faded into an ashen sky leaving the restless sea heaving, licking the shore in frothy waves. The water pressed against my abdomen and squeezed the ribs, making breathing difficult. The tide was high; it ebbed and flowed over my shoulders and pulled away the sand under my feet. Thoughts drifted far and away, beyond the horizon in which tiny lights of rigs flickered along a dull grey line severing the sea from the sky. The undulating expanse, terrifyingly in its immensity, was somehow reassuring in its embrace. A sense of serenity washed over me blanketing disquieting thoughts of mortal evanescence in the course of time.

We stood on the shore on a carpet of seashells feeling the heavy rhythm of the sea as its spells of silence mingled with the flutter of warm breeze and desultory conversation. One by one the parked cars departed, head beams wavering over the dunes, and an inky black solitude spread around us. We were quiet, succumbing to the repose that enveloped us, not daring to corrupt it with our voices. And so we stood for a long, long time…

Later, as we inched through the snaking traffic of Ajman, along yellow lit streets lined with neon signs of dance bars and a milling crowd, the soothing spell of the sea still buoyed our spirits.

The Beach

Chance, blind chance, brought us to this garish Nepalese restaurant with a gaudy pink wall paper pattern, green carpeted staircase, bright fluorescent lights, cordial smiles and Momos on the menu – a bit shabby, but certainly spirited. Nubile Nepali girls gyrated on the LCD screen to tunes with a folkish touch, in an incongruent overlap of modernity over antiquity. Nepalese patrons of all ages and gender came and went, some were curious to see the lot of us, their glances told as much – not the usual clientele.

There were several unheard of dishes in the menu which piqued our interest. The familiar Momos unleashed a wave of nostalgia of days long gone – particularly of Calcutta where I had first encountered them and of Gurgaon where I chanced to have excellent Momos in a small counter outside Big Bazaar.

The Menu

The Momos were dry and not succulent or spicy enough for our taste. The Sandeko on the contrary set fire to our palettes and oozed though our eyes and nose. Bhatmas Sandeko was crispy and captivating with a touch of garlic – a novel experience. The soft succulence of Alu went so well with the mildly tangy flavour of chopped onions in Alu Sandeko. Mutton Sekuwa, dark, dry and bitingly salty lent a gritty, rustic flavour when chewed with Tawa Roti. We were happy to be here, and our conversation grew animated and a little boisterous. Visit to the restaurant was a wonderful finale to the pleasant and peaceful evening we had spent at the beach.

Chance had favoured us this evening, weaving a tapestry in bright flavours and cosy peace, moments that hopefully would not be lost in the cascade of fragmented experience…..

Notes:
The beach near Hamriyah town is 30 min drive from Sharjah on the Ras Al Khaima road via Jurf.

Kathmandu Darbar Restaurant
Next to Choitrams in Ajman (some what near Lulu and KM Trading)
Tel: 06-7424330/ 06-7439811
Expenses for 4 people – AED 72 after having one plate of :
Alu Sandeko, Bhatmas Sandeko, Kothey Momo (Veg), Chilly Momo (Veg) , Mutton Sekuwa, Plain Lassi, Lemon Juice.
Definitely value for money.
Positives: Tasty food, Cordial Staff
Negatives: The table was no so clean, but then we were looking for a Thattukada experience and it was a perfect fit!!!
There were several other intriguing items in the menu we could not explore:
Masu Chiura, Choila, Mutton Bhuteko et al….
Some other time, Inshallah…

Speaking of Momos: We had encountered a bigger and bolder cousin of Momo in Georgia – Khinkali , the juicy, slurpy Georgian national dish.. A dumpling worth dying for…
The steak and kidney pie that I came across in Lancaster had some similarity to dumpling, but is an altogether different beast….

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