That’s when you reach out for refreshing juices, smoothies, and milkshakes. Here we review three places where you can get these drinks and for quite reasonable prices to boot.
Samsara Coffee | Bhatbhateni, Naxal
Located in a residential neighborhood in Bhatbhateni, Samsara Coffee can be the perfect place if you like studying/working at cafes. Opened nearly six months ago, this cafe only has different varieties of coffees, juices, and smoothies on its menu at the moment. However, owner Nima Shrestha mentions that he does have plans to expand the menu to include light snacks in the future.
Shrestha, who is professionally a trekking guide, opened Samsara Coffee because he wanted to do something during the off seasons. And as he holds a degree in hotel management and has trained in the same field in Qatar and Thailand, he thought he had enough skills and knowledge to run a cafe.
I really liked the seating space of Samsara Coffee. It’s all outdoors and since the cafe is pretty new, there isn’t a huge crowd of people coming here right now. There are also very few tables and it’s well spaced out that it gives you a sense of privacy. There is also a corner that has a lot of light and fun novels you could read when you go there.
I tried four different drinks at Samsara Coffee. Shrestha pushed the Sea Buckthorn Juice (Rs 100) and the Fruit Punch (Rs 250) as the cafe’s special drinks. And I picked the Avocado Shake (Rs 200) and the Lemon Mint (Rs 120) as drinks I wanted to try. The Sea Buckthorn Juice is sweet, iced, and very light. The Fruit Punch looked really interesting. It had three layers of fruit juice – watermelon at the bottom, banana in the middle, and mango made the topmost layer. It felt fresh and it wasn’t sickly sweet either.
One can never go wrong with an Avocado Shake. The Avocado Shake here was sweet and very thick. I think smoothies taste better when they are fully blended. So, one thing that bothered me a little about it was that it wasn’t well blended. I could feel chunks of avocado on every sip. I really liked the Lemon Mint served at Samsara Coffee. Generally, restaurants use only a bit of mint for this recipe but here this drink was made up of 80% ground mint leaves. Served with ice and lemon juice, this drink was really refreshing.
Crave Bakery | Krishna Galli, Patan
Popular among teenagers and college students, Crave Bakery is the place you must visit if you want something sweet. The eatery offers a selection of pastries, confectionaries, coffees, and milkshakes. That might not sound like a lot, but the bakery is doing a great job at providing a good variety among the items they make.
Started in 2011 as a bakery and confectionery hub, Crave Bakery is mostly known for their cakes. The head of operations, Anyat Eric Rongong, mentions that the bakery gets a lot of cake orders. It’s actually more than the number of visitors they get. The space itself is pretty small. There are only a handful of tables. The cafe has a modern chic aesthetic with crisp off-white walls and mahogany furniture.
I tried the Oreo Shake (Rs 220), Blended Choco Chips Mocha (Rs 250) and the Kitkat Thickshake (Rs 180). The Oreo Shake and Kitkat Thickshake were pretty standard. The Oreo Shake wasn’t extremely heavy and thick or sweet and tasted how you would imagine an Oreo Shake to taste like.
The Kitkat Thickshake that was topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, smashed bits of Kitkat and chocolate syrup, was extremely thick. At one point, I couldn’t even sip it through the straw. But I enjoyed the Blended Choco Chips Mocha. It was topped with whipping cream, sprinkles, and a chocolate wafer roll. It was a little too sweet though. I personally really like sweet things so I finished this drink pretty quickly.
Smoothie Nepal | Sankhamul, Kathmandu
All the smoothies I tried at Smoothie Nepal were dense and filling. Sagyan Malla, owner of Smoothie Nepal who also makes the drinks there, mentions that they try their best to incorporate fresh fruits in the smoothies and that fact is quite obvious when you taste them. The Strawberry Smoothie (Rs 150) – made with strawberry, banana, yogurt, honey and ice – tasted more strongly of bananas than strawberries. Not that I’m complaining, I love banana smoothies too but the smoothie could use more strawberries for a stronger flavor.
The Mango Smoothie (Rs 120) has the same ingredients as the strawberry one – only mango replaces strawberry and banana in this one. Malla stated that since Mango is a strong flavor in itself and its pulp makes for a thick smoothie, they didn’t find it necessary to add banana to it. I liked the taste of this smoothie the best out of the ones I tried. It tasted like fresh chilled mangoes and that, I believe, is never a bad thing.
The last smoothie I tried was the Mix Smoothie (Rs 120) that had strawberry, mango, apple, banana, yogurt, honey and ice. It wasn’t bad but random chunks of these fruits that weren’t completely blended jammed the straw time and again. If they blend it a bit more, I think it could make for a really refreshing and healthy drink.