Re-visiting Bon Appetit, Leh, Ladakh

Last year, I ate at and enthusiastically reviewed a delightful restaurant called “Bon Appetit” in Leh, high up in the Indian Himalayas.

In Ladakh this year, once again acclimatising for a 6000m+ climb, I spent quite a lot of time alone in Leh, and inevitably found my way to “Bon Appetit” several days for lunch.  I know there are many new places to visit in Leh, but working on the if it’s not broke, then don’t fix it principle, I knew from last year that I could get a fabulous salad there, if nothing else.  Plus delicious al dente pasta.  Plus it’s quiet.  Plus the views are gorgeous.  Plus the loo is spotless.

And this year they have free wifi.

What’s not to love?

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Every day I had virtually the same thing, oh unadventurous soul that I am : either a tomato and rucola salad (same price as last year) or the mushroom and chive pasta (Rs 20 more than last year).

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One day I branched out and tried the spinach and ricotta gnocchi which was OK, but not rave-worthy.

Most days I ended up having delicious local seabuckthorn juice, and always served in a recycled beer bottle, for some reason.

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Frequent power cuts meant, sadly, that I didn’t get to have as many iced coffees as I would have liked.

The last time I went there for lunch, the day I staggered back into Leh after 17 days camping and climbing, the charming waiter told me that they had had no power for 2 days –  so no iced coffee and no classical music piped quietly in the background.  But fresh salad…

Some trekkers I met told me they found “Bon Appetit” too expensive.  It’s not cheap, but the food is delicious, the service lovely and quiet and unhassle-y, and you can while away many calm hours there.

Enthusiastically re-recommended.

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Recommended restaurant in Leh? Bon Appetit

My recent trip to Ladakh was a delight on so many fronts.

Not only is this a super fabulous part of the world, with heavenly landscapes and lovely people, Ladakh will now forever be the place where I climbed my first “proper” mountain.
I was last in Ladakh in 2009, also on a trekking trip but boy, have things changed in 4 years. Not so much in the mountains and villages, to be honest, but in Leh, the capital, the changes are amazing. There are many more hotels, shops, internet cafes, and eating places than 4 years ago (many more cars, too, inevitably) but the great thing this time was that we actively ate well, as opposed to just eating. If you get my meaning.

One of the highlights of my time in Leh, on the eating front, was lunch at the appropriately named “Bon Appetit”.

It was a revelation.

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Gorgeous location, with views to die for.

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Lovely open airy spaces, both indoors and out.

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Great service. And the food…

My dears, the food.

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Perfectly al dente pasta –  my spot on choice for lunch (below) – loved the clover garnish.

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Delicious rocket salad.

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Equally deliciously presented and tasting pizzas.

Great cold coffee.

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We were a party of 6, and everyone declared their meal/beverage to be a winner

 

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Below is the outdoor tandoori & kebab area, as well as the pretty aromatic herb garden through which you access the restaurant, which seemed much more Provençal than Ladakhi.  But gorgeous nonetheless.

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 Personally and enthusiastically recommended.

We paid our bill, and I did not tell anyone at the restaurant that I blog and review.