PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
You need not trek the high peaks of Nepal to revel in the gourmet rewards of Nepalese cuisine. Nay, just take a hop, skip and a jump from Oxford Street to the cosy dining room of the Nepalese Kitchen. Dimly lit and dotted with wooden decor, this charming terrace restaurant is a Surry Hills favourite. The quaint dining room is redolent of fragrant spices, and the menu offers a myriad of new flavours to invigorate Sydney's tastebuds. Traditionally mild, Nepalese cuisine relies on fresh achars (relishes) to add a little zing to meals, so order up a spread of shared dishes and accompaniments to provoke the palate.
Start with delightful little homemade dumplings, momos, stuffed with cheese and spinach, spicy chicken or vegetables. Dipped into a roasted tomato achar, these are a promising foretaste of things to come. For mains, the much talked-about kitchen specialty of boko ko takari, a rich goat and tomato curry scented with cumin, cinnamon and bay leaves, is bowl-licking good. Vegetarian mains make for hearty, healthy eating; try the kwati, a nine-bean curry cooked with chilli, parsley seeds and spices, or bhanta, in which eggplant, potato and tomato make culinary allies of garlic, ginger and chilli. Groups of six or more can feast on the Nepalese Kitchen banquet for a well-rounded taste of the menu. With most mains under $20 and BYO available, the Nepalese Kitchen is a surprisingly delicious find offering good value in Sydney's eastern suburbs.