Even if you are not a guest at the inn during your visit to Thimphu, you may find yourself returning to Gyelsa's restaurant after trying it once — especially if you tasted their famous glazed pork ribs specialty.
Gyelsa's Bhutanese chef worked for 10 years at a respected local eatery before coming here, and their kitchen team caters events for government ministries like massive Druk Green Power Corporation — proof positive that the restaurant food is authentic and good. Local is king at Gyelsa: they buy in small batches to ensure freshness of vegetables, eggs, and meat (in distinction to the many area restaurants that use meat imported from India). They also maintain a strict no-MSG policy.
The chef trained in Continental, Bhutanese, Indian, and Chinese styles of cooking, so the menu has range. Besides the delectable glazed pork ribs, other hits include the fish and chips, chicken butter masala, shakam ema datshi (dried beef with chili and cheese), and jangbhuli (Bhutanese flat noodles with spring onions). Portions are generous, and buffet options are available.
Guests not staying at the hotel are always welcome at the restaurant, and the central location makes it easy to swing by. The 40-person capacity dining room opens onto a spacious two-tier open air patio, an enclosed lower section and an upper wooden balcony with views into the peaceful park behind the hotel. Grab a coffee here in the early morning, or after hours come by for snacks and cocktails from the full bar. Open for breakfast at 6am; the bar and patio stay open until 10pm.