The rooftop of the M Hotel in Thamel is a cozy, intimate space, with a bar, several tables, and in one corner, a barbecue grill set up there each Friday.
There are several deals on offer—three skewers plus one beer for 499++ rupees, or five skewers and three beers for 999++—the latter of which is perfect for when you’re here with a group of friends. I had the first option, and I can tell you that whichever you pick, you’re going to want more of those skewers, because they are delicious. The four I had—chicken, buff, potato, and mixed vegetables—were varied and tasty. This is Nepali style barbecue, or sekuwa, not American style ’cue, just to clarify, and it’s well prepared, both before cooking and during. The two meat choices I had (I also saw chicken wings on the grill) had been marinated in spices before being grilled. Particularly in the case of the buff, this really permeated the meat and gave it a delicious, deep flavor. The potatoes were awesome, too, with a great crunch that complemented the beer.
However, the clear winner for me was not the delicious tidbits that I carefully removed from each stick, but the incredibly tasty choila masala, or dipping sauce, that accompanied them. You know how you are served some sort of dipping sauce with just about everything, and some of the time you taste it and ignore it if the food is tasty enough without it? (Momos being the exception, obviously.) Well, I dipped out a little taster, fully prepared to go back to my skewers and leave it there for the rest of the meal, when – wow! I know this sounds over the top, but it really was fabulous; nuanced and multi-layered, it both complemented the barbecued items and was good on its own. Truly, I’d happily eat it spread on a naan or a slice of bread. The waiter told me it was made from dry roasted chilies, turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, and some other masala… I’m not sure if he didn’t know or was holding back on to the trade secrets, which would have been perfectly understandable.
Well, I wiped my little bowl of sauce clean, and tempered the heat with some chilled beer. The night I was there, a World Cup game was showing, as is happening in most places on most nights these days. The tables alongside mine were full of cheerful, well-fed patrons, and the staff, I noticed, was friendly and attentive, even to the point of empathizing with a hotel guest who’d wandered up to hear what all the ruckus was about. Speaking of the World Cup, M Hotel is also running a special promotion of three Arna beers for 1099 rupees nett every night of the World Cup, so you’d better get on down. The barbecue specials, though are ongoing and can be found here each and every Friday night—and should it rain, part of the roof is covered, so you can still watch the game or enjoy your meal, outdoors and dry and the same time. Honestly, you won’t regret checking this place out. Tasty food, a cold one, a beautiful view, twinkling stars above… what a way to spend a Friday!This is particularly most evident in the street leading to Lagankhel, where stand many buses going near and far in and around the valley. Because of this, with passengers swarming into and out of the large vehicles, many with only one thing on their mind, shopping, this street is a shoppers’ dream come true. You’ll find a veritable plethora of all kinds of goods being sold on this street. Till a few months back, even the sidewalks, and the bus stop itself, were filled with numerous makeshift stalls, but I think the municipality has put its foot down, so there’s less of this chaotic scenario nowadays.
Evening time is also when you’ll find plenty of eager beaver foodies gorging on the delectable pani puris and chaats sold in roadside shops and from mobile stalls, luscious ras malais and savory samosas in the mithai shops, and cool and refreshing ice creams and yummy and comforting dahis in the ice cream parlors. You’ll also find quite a few kerb-side shops selling a variety of fresh greens, while in the branching alleys you’ll find what delights a non-vegetarian the most, chicken and mutton and buff and fish.
Yes siree, Patan is a city that has something for everyone, and like I said before, it’s a great place to be in at all times of the day!