The Vesper Café - The place to be

The Vesper Café is a view in the grey city: a beautiful sunset bungalow in hues of Tuscany and oak shelters a stylish wine display and extends to a wide open garden space protruding out sweet jasmine onto the streets of Jhamel (Jhamsikhel). Unfortunately, the location of the restaurant is next to the most unforgiving and loud street which overpowers the ambience of the restaurant and that is the reason I had stopped having their scrumptious pizza.

Therefore, this time, I chose to sit in the more work lunch-like space inside, but the reverberating crammed space with crumpling spotted white table cloth feels more like a cheap McDonald’s. The classy thick ledger-like menu is brought immediately by the cheerful waiter, Bipin, who is very eager to help my mother understand the menu. When asked for recommendations, I am delighted to find that he skips the usual “Everything is good!” and helps us choose signature dishes and I add an Artichoke Pizza to the order.

I take a trip to the bathroom which is built as a shrine for toilet paper it seems: three shelves on either side of the toilet, with assorted used and unused toilet paper on every shelf. And there is very visible mud on the floor.

Back at the table, two new waiters are helping my mum who wants to order more, but they can barely pronounce the food items, let alone recommend us anything. Seven minutes after the order is made, the 90 per cent occupied Vesper brings us our dishes and I am truly impressed.

The Jalapeño Cheese pop is a lip-smacking large spicy version of cheese balls you get served in weddings but the jalapeño twang is lost in the loud cheese. We are equally impressed with the taste, texture, presentation and pricing of all other dishes. My mum fell in love with the Tahini, roasted white sesame seeds with lime juice, and the Patlicanli, grilled eggplant mixed with yoghurt and lime juice. The deep red Beetroot Salad is a delight to look at and even better to taste; the Hummus, too, is just the right texture, not too creamy, not too oily; and the Sigara Bread is a debate between me and my mother. She thinks it tastes like rotten cheese, and I can barely even taste the cheese. Overall, we find that Vesper’s menu of exotic dishes is truly commendable for catering to the palate of both expats and traditional Nepalis alike.

I have a bite of everything, trying to save my appetite for the pizza, which I know will be amazing, from past experience. I am wrong. Artichoke turns out to be a terrible choice for pizza topping but I had blindly recommended any other Vesper pizza; they have all tasted as good as the best I have had in Nepal and abroad.

On the basis of food, decoration and quality service, Vesper is the place to be. The food is scrumptious, the waiters are

very friendly and helpful, the decoration is wholesome and the location is appropriate for work, friends or a date. I would highly recommend The Vesper Café and would not be surprised if it became your new spot. But do take the seats farthest back in the shade and ask for Bipin.

Ratings: The Vesper Cafe

Ambience: 10

Food Quality/Presentation: 9

Quality of Service: 9

Hygiene: 8

Value for money: 8

Overall satisfaction value: 9

Sajal Pradhan is working on water filtration and rainwater harvesting company, Best Paani, and she manages the communications for the SERVIR-Himalaya GIS Research Center remotely. She loves trying out new dishes and spends her spare time on friends and conversations