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Lakeside story



Pokhara's Lakeside is one of the hippest places to wine and dine in the country, and is a kind of Thamel for beach bums. With a view of majestic Phewa Lake and paragliders dotting the skies, Lakeside is one reason to get away from the madding crowds of the capital. And is it a sign o' the times when Thamel favourites are to be seen not only in Jhamel but in Pokhara, too? The setting couldn't be more different, and the recent banda only served to highlight Pokhara's natural beauty. Nepali Times rediscovers the city of seven lakes, and opens up banda possibilities for the next time.


Lakeside dining

Krishna's Kitchen, North of Lakeside in Maya Devi Village lies a small Thai restaurant, hidden from view. But everyone knows where it is. Krishna's Kitchen is undoubtedly one of the treasures of the Pokhara food scene, for the food is truly representative of the 'authentic'.

Krishna and his team of chefs were trained by Chadhil Monkong, a respected Thai chef in his own right. With such standards in place, the expectations are definitely high, and Krishna does not disappoint. The quality and range of the food on offer is immense, and the fruits of staff labour are immediately apparent. Krishna's introductory recommendation of green curry and stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts left me impressed and craving for more. It's a pity one's stomach can only take in so much in one session!

Another highlight is a special section of their menu called 'Really Slow Food For The Gourmet'. The items on this menu require advance notice of a day, to give the chefs time enough to track down all the fresh ingredients they need and prepare them painstakingly. If you can't be bothered to book, visualise this: herb-inebriated stir-fried squid with glass noodle? An impressive stock of wine will help you wash this delicacy down.

Don't be deterred by the fact that Krishna's Kitchen is 30 minutes walk from Lakeside. It's a pleasant stroll, and you'll soon taste the fruit of your own labours.

9846232501, krishnaskitchen.com

Maya Devi Village Restaurant, Situated away from and north of Lakeside, this quirky collection of huts is home to parahawking and the Himalayan Raptor Rescue Centre, as well as an excellent restaurant. Enjoy a BLT sandwich breakfast with fresh fruit, muesli and curd in the lap of a Phewa Tal sunrise, or mingle with a friendly bunch during social Sunday barbecues. Visit the magnificent raptors in their enclosures for a meet and greet before you leave. 9806647917, www.mayadevivillage.com.

Banda special: Last week, Maya Devi Village was even more peaceful than usual, the silence broken only by the lonely cawing of the attention-deprived raptors and the act-tough routine of attention-deprived boys with red headbands, sticks in hand. Talk about bird-brained.

Moondance, serving a mix of Indian, Italian, Mexican and Chinese food, with a beautiful rooftop terrace for a bird's eye view of Lakeside. Mix beer with their pizzas, and you're in for a fine party. Their lemon meringue pie is legendary.

Banda special: The restaurant closes for an intimate session with the moon. Dance under the cover of night or bask under the moonlight. The moon may not be available on certain days.

Boomerang Restaurant & German Bakery, an expansive garden situated close to the lake makes this one of the best places to dine. Let the sombre mood of the nearby mountains sink in. Extensive menu, serving all kinds of cuisines. Try the in-house Boomerang specials, and don't forget the beer. 462978, boomerangrestaurantpokhara.com

Banda special: Keep coming back like a boomerang to try your luck.

Chilly Bar & Restaurant, a great hangout for drinks, especially for cold beers and cocktails with friends. Between 6-8pm, they have a great 2-for-1 deal on all cocktails. Grilled or London steak highly recommended. A relaxing place for Wi-fi surfing, too, 463614

Banda special: Sit on the steps day and night for free. If you're lucky, you'll catch a live badminton match between toddlers.

Lemon Tree, one of the loveliest bamboo porches overlooking the main stretch of the Lakeside road, provides a lovely setting for chilling out with beer and snacks. Famous for fresh fish caught from the lake. Friendly staff and excellent Western-style food at reasonable prices, 463246.

Banda special: The bamboo poles make excellent pull-up bars or props to monkey around.

Olive Café, excellent Illy coffee and a variety of popular dishes such as the grilled king fish, made boneless for maximum satisfaction. A great place for your Wi-fi fix, and the open-air café makes even catching up with work pleasant. Try the blended mocha, a seasonal item to cope with the summer heat. Look out for new items popularised by customers, 462575.

Banda special: Laptop users of every nationality are free to gather outside the gated doors to pray for the miracle of a wireless network.

Mamma-mia, as you might have guessed, their specialty is Italian food, and they pride themselves on excellent pizzas and pastas. Started by a couple with a love for everything Italian 18 years ago, this place is as classy as ever, 463582.

nat-ssul, a Korean restaurant for all things barbeque, from succulent pork to crunchy vegetables. You can have delicacies cooked right at your own table or partake of the dedicated barbeque pit, 229198.

Banda special: Tough luck. You'll have to fly to Korea for this one.

New Everest Steak House has a whole menu of steaks to choose from, so don't think you'll get off easy with 'steak khane'. The friendly interior is ideal for famished trekkers and families to feast in style, 9851057176.

Banda special: It's bring-your-own-buffalo day. Just like a treasure hunt, you'll have to track them down from various locations in Pokhara.

Koto, Japanese cuisine of the highest quality, served with meticulous attention. Food fanatics will find themselves in a haven of familiar items such as sashimi and tempura. Don't miss out on the aromatic Japanese rice wine, sake.
Banda special: Fish food takes on a whole new meaning as you take a special trip down to Phewa Lake to feed the fish instead. Conservation at its best.

Hankook Sarang, Korean food that will serve to impress, with ample portions of rice and an endless supply of side dishes such as kimchi and fried tofu. If you like spicy food, the Kimchi Jigae will sweat up an appetite within the first few spoonfuls, 462390.

Momotarou, a homely setting to enjoy the sweet taste of Japanese dishes. Their Katsu Don will evoke a sense of nostalgia for those who have frequented its flagship branch in Thamel.

Newari Kitchen, delighting in local cuisines, this place offers not only local Nepali food, but authentic Newari-style food as well. With the lakeside as its backdrop, evening dinners are just wonderful along the porch.


Lakeside partying

Busy Bee, head over for live rock and pop performances in English, Nepali and Hindi, alternating between three local bands. Indulge in their beer and pizzas to waste the night away in good fashion. Don't miss out on their happy hour promotion between 12-6pm: buy one cocktail, get one free, live performance daily, 8-11pm, 462640.

V-Jin's Absolute Bar & Restaurant, local bands brighten the night in a traditional setting with English, Nepali and Hindi covers. Cool yourself down with their happy hour promotion from 12-5pm: beers at Rs 190, live performance daily, from 7pm.

All That Jazz, get in the groove with a live band performing sweet jazz from various bands, including Inner Groove, a popular item in Kathmandu. The bar blasts the stereo with every known jazz number day in, day out, live performance on Fridays, 8.30-11pm, 9846163095.

Club Amsterdam, with a spacious main hall and a large 42-inch LCD television precariously poised where all can see, this place has the atmosphere of a football stadium. Happy hour promotions between 4.30-7pm: buy one cocktail get one free. Live bands blast the cheers away with English and Nepal rock and pop daily, 8-11pm, 463427.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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