The beats and buzz that have come up in Lazimpat deserve mention in this corner of Living. Slowly but surely, it’s becoming a nightlife destination for many.
They said that it was impossible to widen the roads from Hotel Ambassador all the way to Narayan Gopal Chowk. But here we are, marveling at the splendor of those wide tracks and how they have eased the traffic for a place that was always rattling with traffic congestion. The road that was full of traffic jams, especially in the evenings during business hours now enjoys smooth and free flowing traffic. The impact is not just on commuters.
One of the biggest advantages of having less traffic problems is that the restaurants, bars and cafes blossom. To put it into perspective, no one will take his/her car all the way into Ason to have momos. Not because the momos there aren’t any good, but because it’s a logistical nightmare. Due to the recent road expansion, Lazimpat has gained credibility as a place to party or hangout or even just shop. The revenue, because of easy accessibility for those with vehicles (the same people who have spending power), is greatly increased. And for those who are benefitted and now are looking for those places to be on a Friday night, let me elaborate:
For The Foodies
Curilo - The coming together of ambience and food has been very well done at Curilo Restaurant. Situated opposite the British Counsil, Curilo offers a simplistic and peaceful environment where one can spend an entire afternoon reading a book in the serenity while you enjoy some brilliant continental cuisine. The Stone Baked Tuscan Pizza would be a personal recommend and one that will keep you going back for more. They also specialize in bringing a certain element to their food; pretty evident if you ever order the Vegetarian Cordon Bleu.
They also have artists performing here who will offer you a change in tunes to your regular pub music scene.
Bhumi- There is not much to say about Bhumi that really needs to be added to what has already been said. Most of us have sampled their offerings and found them satisfactory if not better. The charm of the place is its suitability for diverse groups of people. The menu also plays a part though. The Mughlai food that they offer is certainly one of the best in town and the Tandoori Platter is something that just flies off the chef’s table. The Vegetarian Momos are also one of the delights (and something that all of us order).
The food at Bhumi is a standout for sure and the other advantage it offers is ample parking space. No parking on the road for you.
This is pretty simple if you follow the rules to not completely lose it in Lazimpat. While it may be serene and peaceful, Lazimpat has downed the greatest of drinkers. So here’s a guide for a full day of shenanigans on any given Saturday.
Start your day with a nice brunch at Curilo. The lunch there is simply exquisite and will rightly add the fuel for the rest of evening’s excursions. Next, make your way to Embassy and enjoy some good old football. Or, if you wish to further the serenity, head to the Shangri-La Garden and keep the peace going. Now that you are well ‘watered’ it should be about dinner time and Bhumi should hit the spot with their offerings on the menu. They have a bar as well so that can’t go wrong. An alternate route would be to get some tunes under your belt and head on down to Jazz Upstairs. Chances are, Cadenza will be playing or some visiting artists. As you sway and thump to the beat, it’s already 11pm or something. Just remember where you parked your vehicle. But it’s Lazimpat, chances are it is right where you left it.
Le Sherpa- There is no dearth of places you can go to for a good drink in Lazimpat, but perhaps, there are none as classy as Le Sherpa. While you can choose your liquor when you are there, it is the wine menu that will pop right out. The wide variety alone is splendid and in addition to having White and Red House Wines, they have plenty from around the world like the La Loge by Le Marmandais. A French Red Wine that is very fruity, grapey and forward, the flavors are a bit vegetal, there’s a nice touch of mouth-coating tannin and a reasonable level of acidity. A South African addition to their cellar is the Pinotage Shiraz by Slent that has an intense rounded mouth feel, ripe pear opulence, long finish. The range stretches from Rose Wines to Champagnes making Le Sherpa is a great place to stop and sample.
Shangri La Garden – Situated a little further up the road in Lazimpat is the Shangri La Garden. As far as I know, it is in no way related to the Hotel of the same name but it does provide a great vantage point from where you can look over that side of town while enjoying a drink. Try any of the whiskies available at the bar and you can’t go wrong. For a good occasion, why not crack some Jack Daniels and enjoy it while the world passes by below you. The bar has other worldly spirits to choose from as well and the bar tender recommends a good glass of Bailey’s in these breezy times.
The Garden is certainly a place to be visited with your close friends and have a right good evening shooting the breeze with a fine glass of scotch in your hand.
For The Restless
Jazz Upstairs – Guess one doesn’t need to say what kind of music plays at Jazz Upstairs? It isn’t hip hop for starters. Jazz Upstairs has been an institution in the music scene here for years now. And synonymous with Jazz Upstairs is the band Cadenza. Cadenza has been stellar all these years as the power jazz trio that they are. Their music has inspired many to take up jazz and guitarist Rajat Rai also teaches at the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory.
Jazz Upstairs has always offered the option of electric Jazz. And when the same old pub music takes you down a few pegs, saunter on down to Upstairs, The thrill of listening to some nice electric jazz by one of the most celebrated jazz bands cannot be stressed enough. That too, every week!
Embassy – What brings Embassy to the list is not just the fact that it is one of the most frequented restro-pubs in Kathmandu. What makes it stand apart is the fact that it has become a hub every weekend for football fans to punch and scream at their big TV screen. Embassy has evolved into a destination for those who support their football club to gather and have a good round of beer whilst watching the Barclays English Premier League every Saturday and Sunday.
The large beer pitchers and beer mount helps satiate the thirst of those incessantly screaming throats and Embassy has done a masterful job catering to this demographic. So their promotion is aimed at them, happy hours are at a happy time and weekends can be pretty packed.