13 Nov 2017
4 min read
Tucked in a little away from the main Baluwatar thoroughfare, Pauline’s Garden Restaurant is a serene haven where customers have the luxury of indulging in exquisite food in the midst of a scenic garden. Named after the owner herself, Pauline’s Garden offers top-grade service and an eclectic menu with a touch of French characteristics.
Ten years before establishing the restaurant, Pauline Driard ran guesthouses and hotels; her first guesthouse was an establishment in Shivapuri (that hotel was destroyed by the 2015 earthquakes) and her other venture is Babarmahal Revisited, a boutique hotel that is still in operation. Pauline’s Garden, her third venture, which was established a year ago, between Dashain and Tihar, has been gaining popularity among Kathmandu’s foodies, largely on account of its offerings. Although the restaurant was initially located in Lazimpat, complications regarding rent forced Pauline to relocate the restaurant to Aanek Marg. It offers the customers the choices of both Al fresco dining in the beautiful garden or on an enclosed rooftop (which is heated in the winter) with a garden view. What initially started out as a quaint French restaurant has now evolved to provide an array of cuisines, including Italian, South American and Nepali.
From managing the staff to cooking and waiting tables, Pauline—the sole owner of the restaurant—is extremely proactive when it comes to running the business. Her expertise in cooking comes from her being an apprentice to a cook in her previous guesthouse and from years of cooking in her mother’s kitchen. Pauline has passed down her knowledge of French cuisines to other chefs, and while she is open to making additions to her menu, she keeps it predominantly French. According to Pauline, her inspiration for cooking stems from the “pleasure she derives from sharing”.
Food and menu
Pauline’s Garden has an eclectic menu that could best be described as ‘World Cuisine’: it includes both familiar go-to local snacks as well as international specialties from Europe and the Americas. Our recommendations include the Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Vegetables, Grilled Prawns, Mozzarella Cheese Sticks and Caprese Salad. The chef’s personal favourites include the Handmade Veg Ravioli, the Tartiflette and Chocolate Fondant and Mousse, for dessert. The menu special changes every other week, while changes to other menu items are made a few times a year. Because Pauline’s also works with seasonal vegetables, there is on offer right now, for example, their avocado shake—a popular beverage. As for cocktails, Pauline recommends the Garden’s Special, made from gin and basil.
Quality at an affordable price
The dishes at Pauline’s Garden are made using produce sourced from an organic farm. The cheese, a necessity in French cuisine, is supplied by Pauline’s brother, Francois, who specialises in producing French cheese locally and lives just next door. As for the meat and other ingredients, they are sourced locally, and Pauline is careful to ensure that they are as fresh as possible. Every morning, Pauline examines and tastes every single ingredient that she uses and has also trained her team to examine products.
Whether you want to opt for an authentic Italian dish or a familiar fare, Pauline’s Garden provides a variety of dishes at a rather affordable price, in comparison to other French restaurants. If you want more bang for your buck, be sure to head to Pauline’s Garden during their Happy Hour (from 5 pm to 7 pm on Thursdays, when they have a ‘buy one get one free’ on their cocktails).
Adding to the ambience
Every month, Pauline’s Garden hosts mini-concerts. And usually during such special occasions, it is close to impossible to get a table without making prior reservations. In the near future, Pauline also plans to host barbecue nights on Fridays.