Saturday, 16 March 2013

Himalayan Nepalese Restaurant & Cafe

Himalayan Nepalese Restaurant & Cafe on Urbanspoon
This was my first restaurant meal of 2013.

If I had to describe this meal, it'd be somewhat like how I feel towards the year so far - not completely underwhelming, but nowhere near overwhelming either. Like this meal, it's brought in a bit of sweetness, bits of spice, and glimpses of gold among the rougher bits I'd rather forget.

There were a few dishes here that looked like they'd be genuine gold but unfortunately, they were gold plated at best. Beneath the golden batter, a lot of them lacked that type of flavour and excitement we were hungry for.
Free nuts?! That's nuts!
I'd have to thank this bowl of addictive roasted spiced peanuts and soy beans for helping make the long, unbearable long wait for our entrees slightly more bearable. Judging by the ~25 people table that ordered JUST before we did, I suspected a couple more bowls would be needed.

Surprisingly, a little goes a long way :) Like most good things in life.
Momo - $14.50
I'd like to introduce you to the affectionately named momo, which I suspect is one of their most well known and ordered dishes. Momo here is a traditional dumpling dish and comes with either minced chicken, lamb or vegetable fillings and a sweet, tomatoey homemade sauce.

The little dim sim-like parcels are specially spiced and wrapped in dough with coriander, ginger and garlic. The skin that holds filling and liquid inside is delicate but not too fragile, so the journey from the serving plate to your plate can be a successful one.

After our last entree arrived and trudging through them (entree being the only thing we ordered - 5 of them), I think this first dish may have been the best one. I don't think people save the best til' last anymore nowadays!
Masu Ko Tandro - $12.50
The next dish we picked out from the entrees list was a minced lamb one - 4 stubby lamb cigar-esque rolls seasoned with Nepalese herbs and spices, skewered and grilled in a Tandoori oven.

I enjoyed these on their own without the minty yoghurt sauce, which I felt seemed to mask their fresh, meaty fragrance.
Chara Ko Sekuwa - $15
I don't normally order chicken unless I have to, and usually when you are dining with a group of friends, you have to.

Chicken is a foolproof, trusted food and these tender pieces of grilled chicken don't differ. I couldn't really taste the marinade of yoghurt and herb mixture the chicken was described to be marinated with though, unless I was meant to marinate the chicken in that herbed yoghurt sauce myself right before I ate it.
Jhinghe Machha Poleko - $15
Probably scoring the least points with our tummies this meal was probably this grilled prawns dish, that came in a batter that could have made a lot of improvements. The prawns were small and not too appealing, and tasted sadly ordinary at best.

And before I sound like a broken food record, all these dishes were indeed described on the menu as marinated in a special seasoning of Nepalese herbs and spices and cooked in a tandoori oven. And in hindsight, remembering how similar in tastes they all were, that description is heck accurate.
Machha Tareko - $14.50
The panfried fish fillets were last to arrive and definitely looked the most flavoursome of the lot. I'm pleased that these were moist and flaky, even though their cut is on the thinner side.
Garlic Naan - $5 per serve
This is actually 2 serves of garlic naan, studded with chopped garlic. The thin pieces of aromatic flatbreads were missing their trusty sidekick - which is usually a generous serving of thick, fragrant curry sauce to wipe plates clean of.

Should have ordered some mains, like normal people do.

The restaurant promises authentic Nepalese cuisine for all of us out there who have been through the same old Japanese-Indian-[insert overdosed to death cuisine here] rotation. It's a nice change from having purely Chinese or Indian cuisine, as Nepalese cuisine draws upon both these cultures.

Prices have definitely risen, and even with just a dinner purely comprised of entrees, this stacked up to a total that could get us not too shabby main meals elsewhere. The kitchen has also taken a one-size-fits-all approach to dressing the plates, so while presentation is nice, I can't help but want a bit of unpredictability to the overused cucumber, carrot, lettuce and lemon wedge look.

Seating is quite packed and the tight squeeze elevates the volume of noises to an uncomfortably loud level where we had to lean across the table to hear and talk to each other. It's a busy, happy environment but hinders on service as a result; staff were a little slow on the floor and in the kitchen.

They do have a fantastic feedback system by leaving a little review notepad on the front counter, which was absolutely drowning in positivity. To our table of surface scratchers who only tried entree dishes, the food was hit and miss.
Not ordering their Nepalese Homemade Mango flavoured Ice Cream made with almonds and pistachio nuts though, could be one of my biggest regrets.

(08) 6161 8645

Open 7 days
Lunch: 11am to 3pm
Dinner: 5pm to 10pm


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