Thursday, December 20, 2012

Brown Sugar Restaurant in KTM

When I first came into contact with the restaurant, “Brown Sugar” I was at a Social Entrepreneurship Bazaar on October 6 at Baber Mahal Revisted.  Amongst the various entrepreneurs I spotted amazing looking cakes and breads and my salivary glands immediately started salivating.  I bought a piece of cake, took a brochure and knew that I had to find this place. 

Hearing the name Brown Sugar made me think of one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs of the same name-Ah brown sugar how come you taste so good”.  After talking to the guys serving the cake and finding out that they were former addicts, who wanted to have a sustainable and independent life, I knew that this was one restaurant that I wanted to support.  Brown Sugar was opened in February 2011 and is directly opposite the British School in Jhamsikhel. 

After a few weeks, I mentioned Brown Sugar to one of my friends and we went for breakfast. Brown Sugar advertises itself as specializing in a number of foods and although I have been to Brown Sugar a number of times, I have only eaten the whole wheat banana and apple pancakes, with a bit of honey mixed in.  When my children were much younger I used to make pancakes and waffles almost every weekend and I thought that I knew how to make these special breakfasts.  But after eating the pancakes at Brown Sugar I know that I am just a novice.  I also know that I need to try some of their other delectable delights from a very diverse menu, but whenever I think of the pancakes…well, ke garne?

On December 9, I took a German VSO friend from India to Brown Sugar for breakfast.  Kristiane was in Nepal, for the very first time, to go on a trek but spent two days with me, prior to leaving.  This is what she had to say, “Having only arrived in Kathmandu the previous evening, I couldn’t have been treated to a better breakfast. On first sight I was impressed with the inviting atmosphere of the “Brown Sugar” and the friendly staff. The young guy who served us did it with a genuine smile all the way through our visit. I ordered the “Princess Breakfast” and it made me feel like one. A steaming hot Nepali Massala Chai arrived first – served, of course, with brown sugar – what a way to start the day. It was followed by fresh orange juice, Egg Florentine with spinach on the most fantastic bread I have come across in Asia … and I have been here a while. The breakfast was concluded with a delicious buckwheat banana pancake. My only complaint: it turned out to be too much for me and I had to ask for half the pancake to be parceled. A definitive recommend!”
When I initially walked to Brown Sugar I wasn’t quite sure where it was located.  There are really no signs advertising the fact that one is near a restaurant, but there is a sign post at the entrance.  Once one enters, one comes into a courtyard with a number of tables.  I saw this as a very comfortable, relaxed atmosphere, and of course, there was western rock music playing in the background. 

I’ve always found everyone working at Brown Sugar to have a smile on their face and found this friendliness to be very sincere.  It always makes a difference to have servers, serving with a smile and makes one feel very welcome.  On some level, Brown Sugar feels like eating at home, at it has a laid back feel, but unlike my home the customer service is truly tremendous. If one requests something the order comes quickly enough, without having to ask more than once to be served.  

Brown Sugar is a clean restaurant and if one doesn’t want to sit outside, there are multiple indoor tables.  Being somewhat of a nut for clean bathrooms, especially at restaurants, I found the toilet facilities very up to western standards.  Overall, Brown Sugar is very clean and there are plenty of napkins at each table.

Like my friend Kristiane, I highly recommend Brown Sugar as a great neighborhood place to eat.  I know that I’ll go back numerous times and next time hopefully, I’ll try something else. The restaurant is open every-day from 8 AM-10 PM.

General impression about the restaurant (up to 700 words)
By Michael J. Rosenkrantz[1]
Please rate the following areas on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest score.
1.    Ambience :                              __8_____
2.    Food quality/presentation: ___8____
3.    Quality of service:                 __9____
4.    Hygiene:                                 ___8____
5.    Value for money:                   ___9____
6.    Overall satisfaction value:    ____9___

[1] Michael, an American from Los Angeles, California, has been in Kathmandu, Nepal since June 2012 and will be here until, at minimum, June 2013.  He works  for both CSRC and VSO Nepal in building partnerships, primarily focusing on the corporate and media sectors.  Michael has been working on Corporate Social Responsibility, in helping corporates to become more involved in community projects.  He also plays, and coaches a wheelchair army basketball team.  Prior to living in Nepal, Michael spent three years as a VSO volunteer in India, working for the National Trust, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India in the field of developmental disabilities.  While in India, Michael also played and coached basketball at the New Delhi YMCA.  Michael was involved in a sport wheelchair donation project in India, collaborating with Wheelchair Athletes Worldwide, an American NGO, and hopes to do the same in Nepal during May 2013.  Michael has worked for almost 30 years, mainly in the US, and most recently as Executive Director for various NGOs.  Michael has two adult children living in California, Daniel, 27, who is becoming a monk and Sarah, 23, who is in college and is an actor, musician and dancer.  You can reach Michael at

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