The Village Café, an initiative of SABAH NEPAL, is not just about serving food. Since 2011 they have been helping hundreds of women earn their livelihood. NGO based- The Village Café employs home based female workers to empower them socially and economically. The ingredients used in the café are sourced directly from small farmers, especially SABAH NEPAL workers in an attempt to create a more expedient place among marginalized communities for people to live, work and raise families.
General Manager of The Village Café, Gajendra Malla believes that hiring people from marginalized communities helps in upgrading the economy as well. When hiring graduates, they have a better opportunity to progress but it’s hard to retain them on the job for the long term.
Having worked for fifteen years in the sector, Malla is proud of some of his achievements. He has been able to engage with multiple stakeholders in a fast-paced and dynamic environment and is highly recognized by his employers and partners.
The Village Café’s motive is to promote Nepali food and to empower home-based workers, using local ingredients. They are also for promoting local products. Fusion of western and Asian cuisine blends the comestible tradition of two or more nations to create innovative and sometimes quite fascinating dishes to provide exceptional quality food. It’s awe inspiring and encourages creativity, curiosity and passion.
The Village Café is an authentic Newari and Nepali restaurant and not a fusion restaurant which has become an emerging trend in the food industry. Its emphasis is on food for fun. In order to enjoy Newari food, one must go to the little eateries that may not be hygienic, and there’s no standardized place as such. But not all such places serve authentic Newari food. The Village Café stands out and fulfills your desire for the original Newari tastes by using locally available ingredients, although prices are slightly on the expensive side.
Ethnic cuisine is highly influenced by religion, rituals, customs, traditions and social and economical status. One’s lifestyle, cultural practice, belief systems, values and family history, and lineage all influence the food extensively. The Village Café has set out to promote local cuisine and to bring them on google map. There are certain items westernized by fusion of Nepali food and western flavor. Base and taste remaining the same, the items are fused to give them a western name. For instance, Chatamari is called Nepali pizza. Its base is the same, but cheese toppings are added to give it the feel of a pizza.
Yomaree Sundae, an anchor of The Village Café, is a hot selling cake with two Yomarees cut into long pieces for presentation. Yomaree Sundae is a sizzling brownie served as dessert with chocolate syrup and ice-cream. Customers often are curious and want to taste the Yomaree Sundae. Their Salad is full of nutrition, dietary foods mixed with fruits, beans, and vegetables that have high nutritional value.
Generally, Newari items are very spicy and not everybody is up for it, especially foreigners. However, the dishes here are mildly spicy so that everyone can enjoy the local taste. Giving the café’s ambience a local feel, they have made the eatery inviting and people love to eat enjoying that environment. Every chair has a sukul and Gajendra says, “To sit on sukuls these days should be considered lucky, as it is getting more difficult to find straw, but it feels like home when you sit on one of them.’’
The first thing that catches your eye is the Dhaka embroidered menu. Menu is a French word, and there is no equivalent in the Nepali language; so Dhaka embroidery adds a Nepali feel to it. To enhance the ambience, some bamboo dokod have been hung up with small bells that chime whenever the wind blows through.
The village Café also provides training to beginners, but recently, these training services have been stopped. As home-based staff is working in the sector, it is difficult for them to provide training. Gajendra explains, “To get an education a person has to study for more than a decade. But here, two or three months of training given to home-based workers seems to be enough.”
The Village Café provides hygienic and authentic delicacies but in a modernized setting. They get fresh organic ingredients directly from small farms. A smoking zone has been set aside for those who cannot do without a smoke. The Village Café also has catering services for weddings, other kinds of celebrations, get together programs and all kinds of events. This café is one place you should visit if you are looking for delicious, typical Newari cuisine.