Ne’pal’ or Ne’paul’?
Apparently it’s the former, who knew? Well, me now! I visited Gautam’s, a brand new Indian and Nepalese restaurant in Meadowbank at the end of last year (yes, still catching up with the last of my 2018 features after my Christmas break!)
I went with the husband, an ex bus driver, who had a bit of a brain fart and took us in completely the opposite direction, we arrived a little late after a big detour which took us almost to Portobello. Khima our waiter (and also a co-owner) for the evening was very pleasant and understanding and we were soon seated with menus and a couple of soft drinks (I did notice they had Indian wine though if you’re not driving!).
We started with something I hadn’t had before (I have since had them again), Chicken MoMo. These tasty little dumplings were brought to Nepal by Tibetan refugees. Filled with chicken and dumplings and presumably steamed, they are served with a chutney made from tomatoes from the tandoor , which give it a rich depth of flavour.
Our other starter was the Tandoori Lamb Chops which were equally good, one of my favourite ways to eat lamb. In case you’re wondering, we halved the third one!
For mains we chose the Chicken Korma as we fancied something familiar and I think it’s always a good benchmark of an Indian restaurant (along with a dopiaza or bhuna). It was creamy and not overly sweet with big chunks of breast meat, the sauce was perfect for dipping with our garlic naan which was dripping in butter. Not a combination if you’re watching your weight, which I’m not (obviously!)
Khima recommended a special lamb dish for our other main, Raja’s Nihari Gohst. Slow cooked lamb shank in a tomato based sauce. The bone was smoothly removed in one movement and the meat shredded away. It was a great recommendation and one you should absolutely try yourself.
I have given up on Indian desserts (sorry, not a fan, bit sweet for me) so we left it on a high. Khima and his family have a fascinating story which has seen them travel from Kathmandu, New Delhi, and Dubai (I’ll let him share it with you when you visit). This business is their first joint venture (Dad, Son, and Uncle). The decor is pretty typical of an Indian restaurant, but you absolutely must visit for the food. We were made to feel really welcome and we couldn’t fault any of the food.