December 4, 2022

Adventurous tastebuds hit us again and we sought this, oh! so hard to find Himalayan Nepalese Cuisine place. We give you some adventure to find Julian, the handsome son of the owner. It turns out, this is the same kitchen of the former Half and Half.

We have been on some adventure trying out the Biryani dishes of the different kitchens that prepare this. Pakistani and Indian restaurants have had this dish presented in many ways and it has been quite a gastronomic experience.

We begin the meal with the sweet lassi. This is a cold yogurt drink presented with a sprinkle of cardamom on the froth which gives it a final gritty spice experience. The sweetness is mellow with a sour twist of lemon. I guess the versatility of yogurt with all the flavors gives it this twist of sorts. But the wonderful thing about yogurt is that it is the best antidote to the chili that is common in East Asian food.

Vegetable pakora is a meal starter that has mashed potatoes and chopped fresh vegetables that are deep fried in patties and served with mint chutney. We had set our eyes on the paneer pakora with cottage cheese but it wasn’t available. The mint chutney dip was a good flavor to perk it up with the addition of cilantro.

Buffalo wings is an appetizer in the menu. This is given a different artistic presentation by putting the wings neatly side by side with a sprinkle of fresh sesame seeds. The crispy glazed wings are not the familiar sort but chili in their own definition. This is best with some cold beer, which is not in the menu. The tenderness of the meat inside the crispy glazed skin is delightful.

Mixed chow mein has egg noodles that are different from other noodles used in dishes hereabouts. But Julian says that the difference of their noodle dishes is that it is eaten with tomato catsup, this particular mixed chow mein.

Indeed, the common vegetables sauteed with the noodles is topped with thin strips of scrambled eggs, so it seemed, and garnished with green onions then drizzled with some of the catsup was a change. The meat in the dish come in tender bite sizes and it is such a savory edition compared to the starchy counterparts in Asian restos. This has more meat and vegetables than the noodles.

Comes now the mutton biryani. Lamb meat that is between one year and 20 months old is called mutton and less than that is called spring lamb. The meat in this biryani dish was simmered in delicious salty spices that also become the gravy. Tender and tasty it is placed on top of long grains of biryani rice and in orange and yellow tinges. The rice must have been cooked with turmeric and another herb to come up with this beautiful carrot and lemon colored fluffy rice. There is a sauce that is served with the dish that has garlic and cilantro that makes the mouthful of the rice and meat a creamy edition. The boiled egg is a nice dry texture that comes with this. The spice is tempered for the regular eaters like me. To those who are biryani fans, youmust try this version.

The best of our ignorance saw us order the buttered roti that is meant to pair off with the saucy curry or masala dishes. These are used to wipe off every tasty bit of goodness off the plate. There’s always amisadventure somewhere.

For those who have not experienced Nepali food and want to try it as a group, there are group meals to give you a nice combination of the typical meal. For a group of four, there is a combination of parale mushrooms, vegetarian Mo:Mo, mixed chow mein, chicken curry double, 4 steamed rice or 2 plain roti. This comes with iced tea or cucumber lemonade.

For the single adventurer, there is the royal thali meal that comes with the traditional meat, vegetable curry,  yellow moong dal, potato salad, spinach, sweet yogurt, served with rice or plain roti. This is a choice of chicken, mutton or vegetarian thali. A full meal with soup, meat, vegetables, in the spices of Nepal.

My fondest memory of something Nepali is from Jim Ward who espoused the happiness day, the philosophy that he brought in his “Bliss Café” once upon a time. If we indeed include this in our daily pursuits, how can we not be happy. This is why he said the gross domestic product of Nepal is happiness. Indeed, how can we go wrong if we live and breathe happiness.

Enjoy the culture through the food and the ambience of Himalayan Nepalese cuisine. 

The art and the minerals on display in the 10-seater apartment turned restaurant seem to promise that they may relocate after these days of quarantine. Take out is the better deal.

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