Well, I promised a review, or two, when I posted my Alloo Bodi Tama recipe a while ago so here we go!
Many miles apart, Edinburgh and Spalding, but very close in the winning qualities that make for a good restaurant you want to visit time and again. Super food, all at very reasonable prices, and a cheerful and helpful staff are the factors I prize in any establishment, and these two are at the top of my list. I have found all the Nepalis I have met over the years to be unfailingly courteous, and the staff at both restaurants are no exception.
The first, Namaste Kathmandu in Forrest Road, is located a short distance uphill [everywhere in Edinburgh is uphill or seems to be!] from the famous ‘Greyfriar’s Bobby’ statue. I visited it first on a Saturday evening, which, as you might imagine, meant it was busy! Nevertheless a table for two was found, menus appeared, and then……we were allowed plenty of time to mull over the delights contained within. Unlike so many other restaurants on a Saturday night when you feel you’ve stepped on a conveyor belt!
The menu, in deference to ‘British tastes’, does show a number of the standard dishes that can be expected in any Indian restaurant. However but a little searching will reveal a number of unfamiliar Nepalese dishes, and, as you might expect, it was these we concentrated on.
Starters range from Kukhura Ko Sekuwa, a sort of Nepali chicken satay, marinated in herbs and barbecued, through Haku Choila, a traditional grilled lamb starter, and the staple of all Nepalese homes, Mo:Mo. Vegetable filled dumplings steamed or fried and garnished with fresh coriander. Kwati Ko Suruwa is a delicious nine bean and green vegetable broth simmered in Himalayan spices and herbs. They list several others, all sounding equally delicious, but even I can only attempt so much!
Of the main courses Kukhura Ko Johl was a superb, chicken on the bone, dish containing onion, tomatoes and timur, better known perhaps as Sichuan Pepper, topped with sliced green chillies. Khasi Ko Masu, lamb marinated in Himalayan herbs was superb and spicy, only just topped by Bheda Tona, lamb on the bone marinated in yoghurt and herbs. As an accompanying side dish you would find it hard to beat their Kaakra Ko Achar, a fresh tasting Nepalese cucumber pickle. Jeera Rice, with cumin seeds, soaked up all the sauces so nothing was wasted!
How did two of us manage to eat all that? Well, the food was so wonderful that we had no hesitation in eating there on Sunday night too!!