Bhutanese meals are characterised by the hot chilli pepper and cheese; put them together and you have the national favourite - Aema Datsi (literally chilli and cheese). This main dish has spun into numerous variations: Kewa Datsi (potato and cheese), Shamu Datsi (mushroom and cheese). These would be standard fare in most Bhutanese restaurants, but do tell them how hot, that is how much chilli you can take in your meal.
On left, wild ferns and mushrooms from a typical weekend market. The very popular dumpling or the momo is a general favourite and is available either as cheese momo or with minced meat. In Bumthang, buckwheat pancakes and noodles replace rice as the favorite staple.
Most restaurants in Bhutan offer the standard Chinese or Indian fare. International cuisine is limited. Always ask what is available and what is in season. There are more restaurants in the capital, Thimphu, and the southern town of Phuentsholing. Most meals are served buffet style so the decision on what to order is taken care of.
It is generally safe to eat out in the major restaurants but avoid fresh salads if you’re concerned. Drink only bottled water. Bhutan’s agro industry has excellent bottled spring water. On the left is a typical lunch at a Bhutanese restaurant consist of red rice (unpolished rice), local produces, some meat and not forgetting Aema Datsa (Chilli and Cheese)
In the capital, there are a few small cafes where a hot steaming cup of tea or coffee is available with snacks. The adventurous might want to a cup of suja (butter tea), a local favourite, which is a great way to warm you up on cold nights. There is also the local brew called arra (distilled from rice, barley or wheat.) Locally produced beer and whiskey is also available.
On the left is a cafe in Thimphu. Some cafe provide free wireless network for customers . Visitor may want to check out establishments like Karma’s Cafe, Art Cafe, Swiss Bakery and Season Restaurants in Thimphu.
Source: Tourism Council of Bhutan