Cold, cold nights call for warm chicken curries and buttery roti to help ease the freeze. A friend and I made our way to the Himalayan Kitchen on Melbourne Street a few nights ago to pop our Nepalese food cherry once and for all. It was fairly empty the night we went and for some reason it felt like we were being stared at by customers and staff as we walked in, like it's somehow weird for two Asian girls to be eating at a Nepalese restaurant?
Reading the menu, it seemed that Nepalese flavours are pretty similar to Indian food. A lot of yoghurt, chilli, tomatoes, garlic and coriander are used to spice things up with a selection of chicken, lamb, seafood or vegetables. It was hard deciding a curry or a clay-oven cooked meat dish, but in the end the clay oven won.
|Pakora (Onion Fritters): $9.00|
These were free! We were waiting for our food when the owner of the restaurant came over and placed these on our table. Unfortunately they weren't that tasty. I didn't realise it at the time but the fritters were fried in a chickpea batter, which made it rather grainy and not light and crunchy as I was expecting. They didn't have a lot of flavour and definitely needed the achar (chutney) to help it out.
|Chicken Curry: $20.50|
|Sekewa (clay oven cooked chicken): $24.00|
I was looking forward to see how this 'clay-oven' cooked food would look and taste, but was a little bit disappointed. Although it had plenty of flavour, the chicken pieces were slightly dry. There were also only five pieces of chicken which I didn't think was really enough for the price. The salad was fairly yummy with loads of fresh cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce and carrots mixed together with the chicken juices.
The roti was probably my favourite part of the meal. Deliciously buttery and crunchy, it was a match made in heaven with the sauce from the chicken curry. It had this great earthy, slightly burnt after taste which comes from it being oven-baked and wasn't too oily at all.
If there's one thing you need to try when you come here, it's the meditation bowls! The owner's children were around the night we went and they brought out two meditation bowls for us to try. The process consists of you scraping a softly-padded stick around the top of the bowl until it starts to hum and vibrate.