While doing our voluntary work, we are staying in a homestay with the other volunteers and have all our meals provided (either where we work or at the homestay). Although there’s a lot of lentils and rice, the food is pretty tasty and seconds are often welcome! On Fridays however, there’s no evening meal and you can either go out with the group or separately.
Normally we join the group but last Friday, we went out on our own and headed to a pizzeria just for a change. Amusingly we were asked if we wanted an inside or an outside table: given the temperature was about 6 degrees, this was not a difficult question to answer! However, the term “inside” is also quite loose: almost all of the restaurants in Pokhara are essentially open to the elements on at least 1 or 2 sides and would perhaps benefit from being a bit more closed in, if only for the winter season. It seems perfectly acceptable to sit in restaurants wearing woolly hats and several layers: in fact it might be odd if you didn’t! There’s one restaurant called “Little Windows” which is fully open on at least one side: as I walk past it, I always think that perhaps the owners should put some glass in its eponymous windows and by doing so, perhaps attract more customers.
The previous week we had joined the group for an evening out at the aeroplane restaurant. Here, as the name suggests, the key feature (or USP as they would say on ‘The Apprentice’) is the fact that there is a small plane in the restaurant which has some tables and chairs in it so you can eat in here and also crawl (literally) into the cockpit and pretend to fly the plane. Potentially a fun gimmick; however, we were a large group and so didn’t all fit in the plane which left us on a pretty cold night all sitting outside which wasn’t ideal. Despite pre-ordering our food and notifying the restaurant that we were going to arrive at 18.30, none of the food started arriving until 20.00 and then all in dribs and drabs with the last meal being served (after some significant chasing) at 21.30. In addition, they showed no interest in taking a drinks order, almost seeming surprised that we might want drinks as well as food! There were also a few disasters with the food choices – a couple of people had ordered “pasta alla funghi” but when this arrived, this had somehow changed into spaghetti bolognaise (meat). Nepal is largely vegetarian and so this was unexpected and obviously a bit of a disaster for the vegetarians who had ordered this expecting pasta with mushrooms. Not the most successful of group meals it has to be said although, to be fair, this experience was more the exception rather than the norm.
Last night we went to the “movie garden”. This is an outside café (aren’t they all?) but laid out in an amphitheatre style with a big screen which was showing the film, ‘Lion’. It’s a great setting (with a view of the lake in the background) and despite being outside, you can get pretty toasty as blankets are provided. Nice way to spend an evening: a proper date at the flicks!