Part of being obsessed with food is not just trying new dishes or ingredients at home and out and about, but also hunting down untried venues to eat at when the opportunity strikes. While I'm a huge fan of Indian curries, I have to admit Nepalese isn't something I'm overly familiar with.
Due to the location of Nepal, the cuisine is a mix of Chinese and Indian, which means you get the best of two very popular worlds.
In Perth there are actually a few Nepalese restaurants around, which surprised me since I hadn't actually paid too much attention to any that I drive by regularly. The most well known one is Himalayan Nepalese, which has three different restaurants in Victoria Park, Inglewood and Mosman Park.
Knowing it was my turn to organise a 'family' catchup with my close friends Vee, Linda and Jay, I decided to take a recommendation from a girlfriend and book the venue at Victoria Park.
We arrive at 6.30pm and immediately I note the simple but clean decor. The seats are comfortable and the water brought to the table (without us asking - hooray!) is icy cold. We scan the extensive menu and debate over some dishes to share. Linda's the only one who's been here before so we go with most of her suggestions and thankfully it pays off!
To start we share a serve of the Lollipop Chicken ($10.50) from the entree section of the menu. It's a dish of fried chicken wings marinated with Nepalese herbs and spices and served with a minted yoghurt sauce.
I really enjoyed this! The chicken was moorishly tender and juicy; the blend of spices flavoursome. I love the crunch on the outside and the steaming hot flesh on the inside, which goes perfectly in hand with the dipping sauce.
Garlic naan and aloo paratha
Keeping the strategy of sharing food, we pick three curries to go between us all. It's just the right amount of food with Butter Chicken ($21.00), Kashi ra Saag ($21.50) and Creamy Beef ($20.50).
We also order a serving of the Bhuja, which is the steamed basmati rice ($4.50), two serves of Garlic Naan ($5.00 per serving) and one of the Aloo Paratha ($5.00).
When it all comes out to the table, there is food everywhere and it all smells absolutely incredible.
The creamy beef curry is made up of a cream, onion and cashew sauce which is light yet thick at the same time. The colouring doesn't show it but this had a great depth of flavour with a nice range of spices.
The beef is lean but tender, though the sauce to meat ratio might be off-putting to some meat lovers. I on the other hand am all about the sauce when eating curry so I'm a happy little camper as I munch away.
The garlic naan goes particularly well with this dish, and is one of the best naans I've ever had. Crunchy, garlicky, buttery and so delicious I am craving it as I write this. Jay also has a serve of the aloo paratha, which has onions and potatoes stuffed inside and is just as impressive as the naan - I love how a simple bread can cause so much happiness!
Kashi ra saag and butter chicken
You may or may not have realised from my blog that I am a butter chicken addict. It's my favourite curry when done right and I love how sweet, buttery and smokey it can be. For me, the benchmark in Perth is at Bollywood in Innaloo - it's my go to curry and one I love each and every time I eat it.
Himalayan Nepalese Restaurant's version is good but not the same as Bollywood's. It ticks all the boxes in terms of colour, and taste to a degree - but it lacks that real depth of smoke that makes a butter chicken such a hard curry to replicate at home (we've managed to get close but not quite there). I also prefer butter chickens with fenugreek and this version didn't have it unlike your more traditional versions.
The kashi ra saag is my favourite for the night and is a lamb and spinach curry with a very thick gravy sauce. There's so many fragrant spices throughout this serving, and the lamb has soaked up all the sauce and explodes with flavour in my mouth. Yum!
We're all full before we finish our plates but we sit around for another hour, slowing picking away at the leftovers and mopping up sauces with the plentiful layers of naan bread in our baskets. That's the great thing about a good curry house, you find yourself completely compelled by the sauces and unable to stop eating even when you know you should!
I quite enjoyed our dinner at Himalayan Nepalese. While I had been expecting more Chinese influence in the dishes, the curries held their own against some of the best Indian restaurants I've eaten at. The serving sizes are also alot better than most Indian places and so it goes to say taking these two things into account I am sure I will be back soon enough.