After a long day at work, you would want to visit a peaceful and relaxing place. My recent visit to Café Soma after work fitted the bill. Located some minutes past Hermann Helmers Bakery along the road at Jhamshikhel, Café Soma is a small yet alluring place to enjoy and sip freshly grounded coffee along with an array of Euro-Western cuisine.
The mention of Jhamshikhel conjures up an image of all sorts of cuisine, since the area boasts of some 30 to 40 restaurants offering culinary delights. This tempted me to visit the area, but my husband and I first decided to stop over for coffee at Café Soma whilst we planned for dinner.
Café Soma does not boast of the best of the interior designs. However, its walls are rich in colours and beautiful paintings as well as photographs are hung on both the sides. A bookshelf in one corner, boasts of a good collection of fiction and non-fiction in both the Nepali and English languages. There is also a small section of children’s books which is reasonably priced. We chose to relax in a couch at the corner, by which time we had already scanned the restaurant.
We ordered for a grounded Black Coffee and freshly squeezed Watermelon Juice to begin with. It did not take long for both the beverages to arrive. The Black Coffee had a wonderful aroma, and it tasted exactly what I had expected. Going past our initial thoughts, we decided to enjoy the evening meal in the very place, since the menu did not disappoint us in terms of varieties of Western cuisines and the price was also reasonable.
We noticed a blackboard hanging prominently and chalked in bold letters ‘Today’s special Grilled Eggplant Panini’. We ordered the same. We also requested for Crispy Chicken Burger and Caesar Salad (without chicken). Our wait was longer than we had thought, which was mainly because more guests were streaming in but the number of people attending to them was apparently low.
The Caesar Salad finally arrived, and it was delightfully light. The crispy Chicken Burger appeared a few minutes later. The bun was soft and the chicken cutlet inside was smooth, crispy and tender and I enjoyed every bite.
The highlight of the evening was Eggplant Panini, which is grilled bread sandwich stuffed with sliced/grilled eggplant, tomato, cheese, olive oil, basil, et cetera. It was beautifully grilled and tasted so amazing that it took me back in time to the roadside Panini, which I used to enjoy in the streets of Washington DC.
For our dessert, we ordered Hot Brownie with Ice Cream. The Brownie looked fresh and moist and melted in my mouth.
One thing that could improve dining experience at Soma is upgrading the restroom. The restroom had maintenance issues — the floor was not clean and I could not even find paper towel/tissue. The parking space behind the restaurant was limited to three or four cars and a few two-wheelers. Nevertheless, if you are looking for an
inviting, comfortable and simple restaurant-cum-bookshop, Café Soma is a must visit.