What better way to end the day than by being mellow, and swaying softly with the wind to the music? As someone who was minutes away from shutting down, exhausted by the day's work, the sight from my seat gave me just the right amount of energy. With a pond on one side, vibrant and glossy verdure at the center, and a soft silhouette of the temple on the other side, I felt elevated. I was also grateful that the music and the murmurs were drowning out the sound of vehicles.
There is a plethora of green elements in the spacious restaurant—from the sofas to the carpet of grass. The top-floor restaurant situated in Bishal Bazaar has a jazz-styled painting of instruments on the entrance wall, the colors of which are reflected throughout the space. The oranges, blues, and greens are present on the roof and the paper lanterns.
There are swing chairs opposite to the entrance that are almost always occupied. Next to that is a stage for live music. Though it's reserved for Wednesdays and the weekends, performances are also done according to the demands of the guests. Besides the entrance is a bar that offers free cocktails to ladies on Wednesday.
Before the food could arrive, I had a chance to talk with Sabin Maharjan, the owner of Bento Bar and Lounge. The humble, honest, and hardworking Sabin told us about his vision for Bento. They have made this place with importance placed on the ambience, the service, and good food. No matter the price of the dish, the guests should be satisfied, he said. The effort to make the place as inviting as possible can be seen by anyone who visits.
He expressed his contentment about how well his team is developing, but he aspires to do more. Since the restaurant is commonly attended by groups for events like birthdays, baby showers, bachelor parties, and more, he wants to create a space that can work for all these new trends. He's also looking forward to using the space in the banquet hall next door to make a romantic seating arrangement for couples.
The first item to arrive was the lemonade. I have made it a rule to order lemonade at any restaurant that offers it. It's a classic drink that is hard to mess up. Bento's lemonade was aesthetically pleasing. It was an ombre of green from dark to light with white foam on top. Just a sip of the cool drink, and the fatigue in me blossomed into more bursts of energy—the perfect balance of sweet and sour left me impressed and refreshed.
The Chicken 65 that came next was saturated, glazed, and so mouthwatering. It was soft to bite into, with a subtle crunch of sesame seeds, the flavor sweet with a hint of spice. The Dragon Chicken that came alongside the Chicken 65 was quite similar to the latter. It was a darker shade of the same color of the other dish with a lack of glimmer. The taste and texture, too, were quite similar, except that there was something stronger in the Dragon Chicken. Nevertheless, both the dishes were incredibly delicious.
Next came chicken cutlet, the presentation of which left me with a smile. The cutlet, shaped like a heart, had two pieces of cucumber that were also shaped like a heart. There were three pieces of tomatoes, the one in the middle dyed green. The effort was heartwarming.
The Paneer Shashlik was my favorite. The paneer came in two skewers, three pieces in each, placed in an adjacent manner, with a serving of rice placed in between. The flavor of the dish was balanced—the smoky and well-seasoned paneer went marvelously with the rice. The subtle crunch and then the softness left me wanting more.
Bento Bar and Lounge is a place that as a lot to offer. The effort that they put into everything is admirable. It's a gem waiting to be discovered by the larger populace.