25 Nov 2017
5 min read
Even in a city dotted with all kinds of Newari eateries, chatamari joints have always been rather obscure. But not too long ago, we discovered Chatamari Chen, in the back alleys of Basantapur, which offered great chatamaris. Now, a second chatamari joint, Lunch N Munch, has just opened up right at the entrance of Basantapur Durbar Square—near the entrance from the New Road side, and partially hidden behind the ticket-kiosk.
Well, technically, Lunch N Munch is not a speciality chatamari joint; it also sells about half a dozen other Newari dishes. But their chatamaris are so finger-licking good (literally!) that they might as well start branding themselves as a chatamari destination. Then again, they have their momos, particularly the soup variant, which are to die for too.
But why chatamaris and not momos, you might ask. Momos, in general, have been written about and talked about far too many times, and although I’m quite fond of them and won’t miss a chance to pop a plateful of really delicious ones, maybe this one time I’ll refrain from talking about them. And the way Lunch N Munch’s chatamaris taste, they simply deserve a mention in our food column.
There are three variants of chatamaris here—constructed almost the same way: the flat-on-the-plate-style with bits of toppings spread all over the place and the whole thing cut into four slices. The main toppings are buffalo meat, chicken and vegetables. A carnivore by nature, I went for a buff chatamari at first, followed by a chicken one. I would have loved to try the veg one as well, but there was little room for the third chatamari after a tapari-ful of soup momos.
The chatamaris follow the traditional recipe, which features runny rice-and-water batter, thinly spread atop a hot flat iron griddle, and briefly covered to let the heat and the steam cook it. From this point on, however, Lunch N Munch improvise.
They crack an egg atop the chatamari as it gets baked, and spread a generous amount of toppings prior to covering the pancake. There are tomato wedges, finely minced meat and some coriander. Everything is mildly seasoned and lightly spiced. However, if you’d like it to be spicy, you can ask for extra chillies.
When done, they come out with a mouth-watering aroma and the way it’s presented makes you want to dig right in. The juicy buff meat comes with that familiar taste that everyone loves so much. There is plenty of meat and some half-baked chunks of tomatoes that make each bite even more juicier. The chicken, too, is not entirely dry, and almost dissolves inside the mouth. Holding everything on top of the chatamari is the egg, which is slightly scrambled so that its yolk spreads more evenly.
Each slice is, thus, a mix of different flavours and textures, each a simple constituent on its own; but together making for a complex, delicious taste. The chatamaris are crispy since they’re heated for as long as it takes for the mince meat to cook. They also have a slightly sweet flavour from the rice base. The chatamaris can be had for Rs 170 for the chicken and Rs 150 for the buff. That price might prompt you to go for seconds the moment you finish your first plate. After all, it won’t take you too long to finish four slices of chatamari, particularly when they’re so good.
Veg - Rs 110
Buff - Rs 150
Chicken - Rs 170
Lunch N Munch
Basantapur Durbar Square,
Facebook - @LunchNMunchnepal
Call - 9841281746