Buingal Lounge & Bar: Maitidevi’s Best Kept Secret
Text by Basudha Rai
Maitidevi. The thought of going there is a bit daunting for most people. The same old way of asking every shopkeeper or bystander for direction and the frustration of traffic.
However, finding Buingal Lounge once on the Maitidevi Marg is surprisingly stress-free; a clear cut sign from both ends easing your travel. Even better when you enter the small side road leading to their parking space from where a full view of their restaurant emerges.
The building is newly built, replacing their older earthquake-damaged counterpart, laid out from a balcony with a few tables, leading into the bar lounge, the lights setting the perfect mood for the room. Above the bar area is another lounge area cum multimedia hall with a capacity of over 40 persons, with art décor on its white walls, giving the area a bit of a spruce and a light breeze access through its half glass barriers.
A multi-cuisine restaurant, their menu caters to every taste bud and liking, from their starters to their mains. I tried a few things from their new menu launching next month. The Nam Tok Kap, a starter, is a popular Thai dish of grilled chicken sliced into bite-size pieces and dressed in fish sauce, lime juice, chili flakes, and herbs. The Nam Tok not only looked appetizing, it had the perfect crunch as you take a bite, and the flavors bursting into your mouth was incredible. You can definitely taste Thailand in your mouth with this dish and keeps you wanting more.
Most have tried stuffed mushrooms, but the perfectly rounded mushroom caps stuffed with cream cheese and spinach, bursting with flavors in every bite, and just the right amount of crispy on the outside, at Buingal is definitely a highlight from their menu. The plate was stunning, with a colorful display, and a portion large enough to satisfy more than four individuals.
I haven’t gotten to the plate of Khao Kluk Kapi, a little known but one of the finest and freshest single plate Thai dishes, is now actually available in Kathmandu! Stir fried rice with shrimp paste and shrimp, chicken smothered in incredible garlic sauce, and lots of delicious veggies make the plate colorful. Dig into the side of fried egg, and the gorgeous aroma enchants you. The diversity of the ingredients gives the dish an incredible spectrum of flavors that all work harmoniously together, wanting the food to never finish. This is a large plate that can be shared, but a dish you want all for yourself.
Finally came the stuffed chicken, which was a little dry and bland, with the sauce not being so particularly appetizing. However, it was served with the smoothest and lightest mashed potatoes, which is so rare to find anywhere, accompanied with fresh veggies, including asparagus! The effort put in by the chef in all these dishes was well thought out, pairing each item with every detail to the ingredients. Kudos to the team.
Buingal Lounge & Bar is a hidden secret in Maitidevi, not only for the delicious food, but also as a place for everything, from corporate events to family celebrations. They have conference with multi-media rooms, private family rooms, and even karaoke! It’s a rare sight to find karaoke in such a lovely and charming place in Kathmandu for people of all ages to hang out and have a good time.
Buingal Lounge & Bar (01-4421393) is located at Maitidevi Marg; opens everyday till 10 p.m.