3-9 May 2013 #654

Sarangkot Fordays

Of all the great places to eat in Pokhara, at Fordays you also feel great about helping out
Someplace Else by Yeoh Lai Lin

There is more to Sarangkot than its breathtaking landscape and paragliding. Behind the hype of its famous sunrise view of Machhapuchhre, it is a village which faces real social issues. Inequality among castes and ethnic groups are still pervasive, posing a challenge for the development and growth of this hilltop town.

The lack of jobs has forced villagers to leave and seek employment down in Pokhara, in Kathmandu or overseas. Many parents cannot afford to send their children to school, so enrolment rates are low. Tourism can be the great equaliser, creating jobs and providing opportunities for the underprivileged and that is exactly what one restaurant is doing in Sarangkot.

PICS: YEOH LAI LIN

Sarangkot Fordays Restaurant is a breakfast place with a difference. It has a prime view of the Annapurnas, but it is not just any restaurant, sharing a special relationship with the local community, promoting sustainable development, and ecotourism. Fordays is a health drink manufacturer in Japan and this is part of its corporate social responsibility project to raise funds to run the nearby Bishnu Secondary School. Of all the great places to eat in Pokhara, at Fordays you also feel great about helping out.

Try the Sarangkot Breakfast - (juice, toast, croissant with jam, butter, honey, and fresh eggs cooked to order with Sarangkot coffee or tea, Rs 500) or a good old American breakfast (choice of chilled juice or seasonal fresh fruit, porridge or cornflakes served with cold or hot milk, fresh eggs cooked to order with ham, bacon or sausages, toast, croissant, muffin, Sarangkot coffee and tea, Rs 700). Also on the ala carte menu are popular breakfast items such as juices (Rs 200), cereals (Rs 350), cornflakes with milk (Rs 250), muesli with curd and fruit (Rs 250), fresh eggs cooked to order (Rs 175) or an omelette (mushroom, chicken, ham mixed or oriental with ham, bacon or sausages, Rs 275).

The food is simple but hearty. Everyone enjoys a fried breakfast now and then, washed down with a tall glass of fresh juice, and a fragrant cup of tea or coffee. However, the icing on the cake has to be the view from the restaurant, offering a spectacular panoramic sweep of the Annapurna range at daybreak. It is a perfect way to start the day, especially if you would like to avoid jostling with the hordes of tourists and people who scatter themselves across the village at dawn. If you are early and lucky enough, get a table on the balcony and watch the sunrise unravel before your very eyes, the darkness slowly giving way to lighter and lighter shades of lavender, pink, then gold on the snows above.

These are, by far, the best seats in the house. If you aren’t an early riser, fret not, Fordays is open till 2pm and you can saunter over for a leisurely lunch as well. Sarangkot also offers spectacular sunset views. Yeoh Lai Lin

GOOGLE MAPS

How to get there: right on the Sarangkot hill, half an hour away from Lakeside, Pokhara.

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