Cinnamon Grill Lounge – Try It. You’ll Like It


When Cinnamon opened for service two years ago, it was capable of grabbing my attention immediately. However, for one reason or another I never stepped in, until last month.

The name itself is enough to alert all your senses for good food. And it serves nothing less than that. Moreover, the place has a fabulous ambience, inside and out. When I say ‘€˜out’€™, I mean it. It is the hidden side of the restaurant at the back with a small garden, which many may not be aware of. The interior is done in dusky orange, copper brown and a golden yellow; Cinnamon being the entire theme. Just like cinnamon, the restaurant gives a sweet and savoury feel. It is warm and welcoming. The lounge is spacious and yet gives a cozy comfort feel, many wish for. It is superb to catch-up with your pals and rock to some live music.

But the best part of being in Cinnamon is the food. There is nothing better than a plate full of hot, delicious, aromatic food to dig in to. We had the kitchen’€™s special, Pork chops and Buffalo Chicken Wings. The generous pork chops were tossed in spicy barbecue sauce and served with a big dollop of mashed potato and buttered vegetables. The meat was tender, juicy and the sauce over it made it picture perfect. The mashed potato was pretty good. It wasn’€™t buttery smooth but had even seasoning.

The Buffalo Chicken Wings are fried chicken wings tossed with fried garlic, hot sauce and rice wine vinegar. The serving of wings was a humble amount, crackling on the outside but soft and juicy on the inside. Here, the sauce is undoubtedly the hero of the dish. For drinks, we were served a mocktail named Pussyfoot. It is a lady’€™s drink, meant to be real smooth, refreshing and ofcourse lady-like. Well, it wasn’€™t the best drink I ever had, there was nothing really exceptional about it.

Dessert was definitely my favourite part of the entire meal. The Banana Split looked beautiful and it was worth the price. Overall, it was a satisfying experience. When there is music in the air, a cool drink to sip on and delicious food, what more can one ask for, for less than Rs.1000? It is one of the coolest hangouts in Patan and you wouldn’€™t want to miss it.

Snowman

Kathmandu – the busiest city in Nepal, where people from all walks of life face a hectic day to day schedule.  Filled with restaurants, cafes, shopping malls and cinema halls, this city has been the center point for many people from different corners of the country. Different people have different ideas on establishing themselves in this city. And on this course, one man, Mr. Ram Pd. Manandhar, came up with an idea of opening a small cafe in Jhochen in 1965. With ideas from his colleagues, he decided to name it ‘€œThe Snowman Cafe’€.  It has been a popular cafe in the city ever since.

Little did Mr.Ram Pd. Manandhar know that this idea would later be one of the most popular junctions for young people in Kathmandu.  Since it was started in the mid 60’€™s, the cafe has been very popular amongst hippies, informs Raju Manandhar (son of Ram Pd. Manandhar).  Snowman provides its customers with cakes, pies and coffee – treats that have been popular since the day it was established.  When inquiring about where the cakes are made, Raju says ‘€œWe bake everything here, everything is homemade and everybody seems to enjoy them this way.’€  Rightly so, Snowman’€™s has been able to entice everybody with their delicious desserts from their very first visit. They offer their customers black forest, cheese cake, apple pie and arguably the world’€™s best chocolate cake at very affordable prices. Not always busy, Snowman provides customers with a very comfortable ambiance too.  The different paintings adorning the walls were made by foreigners who visited the café over the years. Another note worthy element is the music. Without being too genre-specific, Snowman always provides its customers with groovy music. You can hear artists ranging from Tracy Chapman to Mr.Big on their stereo, soothing and comforting to anybody at anytime.

Yes, there are cafes in Kathmandu with similar features, but Snowman has its own unique comfort. So much so, that even on one’€™s first visit, one might feel that they’€™ve been there already. There is nothing fancy about where it is located and how it is decorated. It just feels homely. I personally have visited this place more than a dozen times and I can assure anyone that there are no other cafes in Kathmandu as comfortable as this one. Better yet, you don’€™t have to be rich to go there. Good service for a good price is what you get. Considered a cool place to hangout, Snowman’€™s two floors are often packed with youngsters both before and after school.

With more than four decades of service, Snowman has been through its fair share of struggles. Having conquered all obstacles, Snowman has rightfully earned its place as one of the best cafes in Kathmandu, and indeed in the world.

 

 

Hemingway’€™s Bar/Café – ‘€œIsn’€™t it pretty to think so.’€

If you’€™re seeking somewhere chilled and down to earth, Hemingway’€™s is a hidden gem among the throng of bars and cafés in the popular Lazimpat district. Despite its proximity to the more uppity Raddison’€™s, Hemingway’€™s remains simple in its approach; a delicious and affordable menu, a wide selection of drinks, a clean and secure environment, and friendly staff that help you feel right at home.

Inspired by his European travels, part owner Dipendra explains that ‘€œit was my dream to always open a café and while in Europe I saw a few different bars called Hemingway’€™s.’€ Indeed Hemingway’€™s stands out because it is slightly European in feel; A café come bar where comfortable and practical meets chic and sophisticated.  While the walls are adorned with pictures of the literary great, Earnest Hemingway, the low strung lights eradiate mood filled elegance where it would not seem out of place to see a nice glass of red wine being enjoyed next to bottle of Turborg.

The charm of Hemingway’€™s is that it is ideal for both the independent worker who would prefer to sit off to the side at one of the high bar tables and for groups of friends who want to sink back into the comfortable lounges and swap stories about their day.

Having mastered Nepali cuisine, the momos and alu Jeera being the best, Hemingway’€™s offers guests a barbeque on Friday and Saturday nights. An ideal setting for end of week drinks, the terrace barbeque, offering chicken and pork, is the perfect way to relax on balmy summer nights. Other dishes include Thai chicken, meatballs and wanton soup. Vegetarians must not miss the vege sizzler which will have you coming back for more. Regardless of the dish you order, though, the presentation of white plates delicately drizzled with sauces and garnished with seasonal herbs is enough to make you think you were dining five star.

During the week you’€™ll be able to unwind with some jazz and blues while on the weekend gypsy Latino music picks up the pace. Soon, guests will also be able to sink back into the soft leather couches and enjoy live acoustic sets from some of Kathmandu’€™s most promising artists. Sports fan will be pleased that the football is a regular on the flat screen, and those seeking fast wifi can spend hours in uninterrupted internet heaven. For drivers, Hemingway’€™s boosts a large and free car park just beside the building

Cuppas – Sip. Chat. Work. Relax.

The city of Kathmandu has a reputation for a lot of things but one of them has not been coffee. An average coffee drinker here in Kathmandu is still satisfied with the sub-par coffee that the typical coffee joint ever so happily pumps out. But, amidst this coffee desert, there has been a recent opening in the form of Cuppas which, despite seeming like a distant oasis, is now right on our doorstep in Putalisadak.

Founded and run by a family of hard working and fun loving people, Cuppas’€™ objective is to simply serve pure and organic Nepalese coffee. The founder duo, Yuki Poudyal and Prashakta Poudyal call it the place to ‘€˜sip, chat, work and relax.’€™ By looking at the variety of customers it holds one cannot help but agree. The moment you walk into Cuppas, the smell of the fresh ground coffee beans sends your senses into overdrive, you know you have entered another world away from the hustle and bustle of life in Kathmandu – and you really can’€™t help but smile.

Even though there are a million reasons to smile, one of the main reasons must be when one gets together with a gang of good friends at a regular junction which becomes your life’€™s little escape pod. Cuppas is all that and more. With the availability of high speed wi-fi internet connection, Cuppas-goers have the perfect place to work away from work. So, go ahead, order that café latte and the ice-cream brownie, and sit back relax; take a book that you’€™ve been meaning to finish, or catch up with those long lost friends on facebook. One of my favourite pastimes is, however, approaching people for a chat if you think they and or you can use the company! Cuppas brings all sorts of people together – the local artists, aspiring musicians, big shot businessmen, lost travellers and even noisy groups of college students.

As you step in one is greeted with young and friendly Baristas wearing funky Barista T-shirts printed with interesting coffee terms. The space created by eccentric artsy walls off to the right is a hub for young professionals out for a quick bite or informal meetings.  But if you’€™re seeking a more chilled setting, a more relaxed corner off to the left is usually occupied by aspiring young people strumming their guitars, creating music, working with their laptop or reading a book from the Cuppas collection. You dictate your style.

So, next time you go to Cuppas, smile, if you aren’€™t already -It’€™s infectious! Who knows, you might meet your future business partner or even your soul mate, better yet, you might find both in one. Next time you see someone smiling at you, why not say hi? You never know what might happen. And for those yet to try Cuppas or others who don’€™t go very often, go out and get into Cuppas vibe. One will soon find their own little piece of coffee shop karma.