Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Nepalese Kitchen, Surry Hills

I and a small group of friends were walking down Crown Street one evening searching for a dinner spot that would permit sharing, when we spotted Nepalese Kitchen, from which the lights benignly beckoned. As it was still pretty early (around 6pm), the restaurant was almost empty, so we had our choice of seats.

Lower area
Wall decorations
 That evening, it seemed to be a two-person show - I only saw one man in the kitchen who would occasionally come out to assist the waitress. Even with the minimal number of patrons at the time, it took a while for the waitress to return to take our order (and later, to receive water, food, order other drinks, receive said drinks and so forth. It was despite there being table service that we ended up walking to the back to settle the bill).

Below, you can see that they serve mango lassi, but I can't really report on the taste because I didn't feel like having one that night and refused to have a sip just to try because of my germaphobic ways.
Mango lassi
When we ordered our entree, haku choila, we were expecting, quite literally, a salad. Instead, each component of the dish took up 1/3 of a plate. The meat was barbecued beef, marinated in ginger, garlic, chilli and coriander. The oat-like substance in the middle is churia, crispy rice, which is indeed crunchy but somewhat chewy in texture - a little difficult to eat, but quite addictive. On the right hand side is a cucumber and daikon achar sprinkled with sesame seeds. I thought it odd that achar was on the menu, as there are Malaysian pickles known as acar and pronounced the same way. Perhaps that's what happens when numerous South East Asian cuisines influence your own...

Haku choila ($9.00)
 Next was our round of mains, which we shared banquet-style and ate with roti and rice. The Nepalese roti is a flat, thin bread - about as thin as a fajita wrap. It was grilled until crunchy and fairly tasty. However, it was pretty dear, as one piece was $3.00, which I felt wasn't substantial enough to justify the price.

Roti (~$3.00 per piece)
 The rice is priced more reasonably, as you are charged on a per person basis - the waitress told us that rice refills were unlimited. Also, as it is more starchy, the rice was a lot more effective at soaking up curries.

Rice ($2.00 - 3.00 per person)
 Apologies for the photos of the curries - I didn't realise at the time that the shots came out so blurry. Alas, that's what happens when you and your friends are feeling ravenous.

We decided on trying the goat, as it isn't used much in Sydney, and we wanted to try something new. I was wary of the potential meat smell that is often emitted, but whatever they did to season the meat, it worked. The dish was pleasant and the meat tender.
Goat curry (~$18.50)
The stew of prawns below, maacha ko tarkaari, looks like the goat curry above, but the flavours were very different. This one was heavily tomato-based, the acidity of which helped to offset the richness of the other curry. However, it was also very salty. The pot in which it arrived looks pretty shallow and small, but they were fairly generous with the prawns and their vessel was deceptively deep.

Maacha ko Tarkaari (prawn) ($18.00 - 20.00 range)
 We finished off the meal with some chai milk tea. It arrived unsweetened, as we were required to add sugar in accordance with our taste buds. I added about 3 teaspoons. I think it was alright, but I'm also not a fan of chai.

Chai milk tea (~$3.50)
Slow service aside, the food was mouthwatering and the prices reasonable (it worked out to about $20 a head, and the dishes fill you up more than you think they would). If I were to return, I definitely wouldn't bother ordering bread again to sop up the curry. It's not worth it, especially compared to the rice.

Nepalese Kitchen on Urbanspoon


  1. $20 sounds like great value for dinner in Newtown. And I love a good goat curry!

  2. Apologies for the late comments! I loved our first little catch-up dinner! All the curries were amazing and satisfying, but the mango lassi was disappointingly bad :(