It had been quite some time since I had visited Jeans Lounge at Basantapur, and I was looking forward to a lazy afternoon doing the spying and catching up with friends. But once I got in, I felt just a wee bit let down — the interiors had slowly but surely deteriorated. The entrance of Jeans is not a befitting one, where we have to pass through a tunnel-like setting.
Once in, the high roof and spacious floors made me feel good. What I like the most about its seating is that there are not too many chairs cramped.
We wanted to go upstairs, but were told that it was not possible as there were ‘no staff’. We settled down on a couch at the far end, facing the huge pair of jeans that has always hung on the walls, and it looked comforting if a bit old and grubby.
We started with drinks, a Peach Iced Tea, and Soda with Black Salt and Sprite. The Iced Tea was refreshing, though my friend, confused it with apple juice and confessed she could find nothing of peaches in the concoction. The Soda was good enough.
Having heard good things about the Cheese Balls at Jeans, we placed our orders: Fish and Chips and a Veggie Platter. The Platter arrived first, a delightful mix of Deep Fried Paneer, Cheese Balls, Veg Pakoda and Saandheko Aalu. We let ourselves loose on the paneer and cheese, which were really good. The Veg Pakoda was okay. The potatoes, however, were unanimously considered good by everyone. There was a special touch — some extra spice, as well as a hint of ginger and garlic.
Having gobbled up the orders in no time, we decided to go for Chicken Chilli and a Jeans Special Pizza as well. When we asked our attendant to describe the latter, he went off in a tangent and described, “Umm.. Hmm.. The pizza contains pineapple… and umm… chicken… and cheese.” When the Pizza arrived half-an-hour later, it was found to have some extra ingredient that no one cared to taste. It looked so pink and raw that we scraped them off the Pizza slices and took tentative bites. Whatever little cheese had been spread was chewy, and all of it made for such a boring combo. The Chicken Chilli was slightly better, the portion was miniscule, and the chicken pieces were more cartilage than good, juicy ones. And to top it all, they were hidden under untidily chopped onions and
My Chocolate Milk Shake had also arrived by then, and it was just about okay. The meal was a mixed experience for all of us: some of the dishes were excellent, especially the platter. But then the Pizza wasn’t.
Also, the interiors need a sprucing up. The damp on the walls, the shabby couch armrests hurriedly camouflaged under cushions, the delayed and sometimes unhelpful service mar the experience of relaxing and letting yourself go. I will definitely hang out with friends there again, but I hope they will have added more staff by then.