Ah, Musicology! This place popped up on my radar shortly after they opened in March of 2018, but something about the way it was described to me at the time made me think it was a little too hipster for my tastes, so I only went there for the first time earlier this year, when I wandered in and ordered their Asian-inspired pork sliders for lunch one day. I loved both the flavors and the vibe of the place so much that we decided to visit for a proper tasting, and let me tell you—if this place isn’t on your radar yet, well, it sure should be.
Visually, the place is impressive, packing a lot into its small space: I love an abundance of greenery, and here there’s both outdoor seating and plants all along the building itself, which really gives it a refreshing, relaxing feeling. In keeping with its name, homages to music are front and center: the indoor tables have CD and cassette cases displayed under the glass, a great reminder of things we used to love, and also an innovative way to re-purpose – not to mention something fun to keep you busy while you wait for your food! Two of the tables have giant dhime drums under their glass tops, and the walls are papered with sheet music as well as lesser-known photos of famous musicians. It all adds up to décor that is both unusual and interesting. Music also features here most Sunday evenings, at a regular event known as Sunday Social, which might feature a DJ, acoustic music, or even some stand up comedy.
At this visit however, I am here for the food, and as I already know the sliders are good, I chose instead a Juicy Lucy, a new menu item that I’ve not seen before in Nepal—it’s basically a burger with cheese inside the meat patty. Yes, you heard that right, and your reaction to reading that last sentence will probably tell you whether it’s your kind of dish or not. We thought it was amazing: the meat was a mix of buff and pork and that combo, plus the cheese, produced an incredibly juicy burger; I mean, really, really amazingly tasty. The bun also ticked all the boxes as it was soft yet didn’t fall apart before the burger was finished. Served with fries and coleslaw, this was an impressive dish that has just earned its place on my personal ‘best-burger-in-the-valley’ list.
We also had chicken wings: there are four choices and the one we went with was the ‘hot and sweet’ which we were told was sort of medium-spicy. This is a great snack to enjoy with drinks, and though it’s not that different from wings at most other places, they serve it with a tasty ranch-style dip which balanced the spice well, and it did, as I said, go well with the chilled beverages. The two we had, Espresso Martini and Watermelon Slush (alcoholic and booze-free respectively) were both tasty and refreshing, and I was amazed at how much I enjoyed the latter, being that watermelon isn’t usually a favorite of mine. I recommend asking the staff what drinks they have for specials when you visit, or check the board behind the bar, because the beverage menu is based on what’s fresh and in season and seems to be always rotating. And speaking of special menus, when you’re here you should also check out the lunch specials, basically a condensed version of their greatest hits, which are served from 11 am to 2 pm at really reasonable rates.
But back to our meal—and I’m saving the best for last. The final dish we ordered was, in fact, rather serendipitous as we came close to not choosing it at all. I’m so glad we did, though, as it even surpassed the afore-mentioned Juicy Lucy in deliciousness. It was the pork belly chilli, which was exactly what it sounds like: pieces of pork belly tossed in the sauce and onions, tomatoes and green bell peppers that make up every chicken or chips chilli recipe out there. Sounds simple, right? What’s so special about that, I can hear you saying. Well. All I can say is go and try it: this was so much better than the sum of its parts—chewy, fatty, savory and incredibly moreish. We could have polished off several platefuls and I can only imagine it would be even better with a cold, cold beer. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this delightful chilli combination before? Why can’t I buy it around the corner from my house when I have the late-night munchies? Ah well. It’s ensured that I’ll be making a return visit to Musicology sooner rather than later. And if you know what’s good for you, so will you.