Friday, June 15, 2007

Gorkha Grill, Chinatown, Singapore

What better place to find Nepalese food than smack in the middle of Chinatown? Apparently, this place has been around for almost ten years. That itself is quite commendable in this volatile food and beverage industry.

The menu here as their card states, isn't exclusively Nepalese. In fact, quite the majority of their dishes are Northern Indian. Nevertheless, the chicken momos we had for starters were pretty tasty. It's like a cross between a Chinese dumpling and an Indian samosa. The skin was pretty doughy and the filling had an aromatic taste of spices.

Ram toriya is basically deep fried okra. Lightly salted, these crisps get pretty addictive after awhile even though they are pretty greasy.

Jheenge papita is a Nepalese specialty where prawns are stewed in a thick gravy and steamed in a pawpaw boat before being served. Although it sounds pretty spiffy, I reckon there's more novelty in this than taste. It doesn't taste bad, but just not really as spectacular as I hoped it to be.

When I saw the description of the murgh makhni in the menu, I thought it sounded rather like butter chicken. Guess what? It tastes like butter chicken. In fact I think this is probably the Nepalese equivalent of butter chicken. But it was a good thing we ordered this because this was definitely one of the better butter chicken dishes out there. The gravy was thick and flavorsome and the chicken chunks, tender and succulent.

The vegetable dish of the day was palaak paneer which is a blended spinach paste with chunks of fetta cheese. I actually prefer the spinach bits to be coarser though, this was almost like baby food.

Piro khasi ko masu is quite a mouthful to describe this dish. It's basically mutton seasoned with "Nepalese spices". Although it wasn't really mindblowing when I had my first taste, the flavor somehow grows on you after a few more mouthfuls. At least, there was substantial protein in this dish.

Saag gosht has to be one of my all time Northern Indian favorites. Although it may look abit like the palak paneer, the flavor is completely different. The chunks of lamb were sizeable and tender. My only gripe would be the smoothness of the spinach, a coarser blend would have provided better texture.

As most of the dishes came with very tasty gravy, what better way is there than to soak and wipe up all of it with some freshly baked naans? The colorful naan is Kashimiri naan, which is basically naan with a topping of glazed cherry bits and crushed nuts. The other is just a straight forward butter naan. I'm a big fan of naans and the ones here are done pretty well, not too breadlike but not too roti-canai-like (elastic) either.

I don't really know what these are called but they're usually served at the end of Northern Indian meals and supposedly aid digestion, abit like after-dinner mints. I'm sure there's rock sugar bits and fennel in this and it sure did help reduce that bloated feeling after this big feed.



zhengning said...

Hey D,
Wow Nepalese dishes!
The last dish looks good, i like the mixture of colour. Is it smth like different kinds of seeds, dried fruits? Haha, kinda curious of the pink and orange. Sweets? Haha

Unknown said...

Looks very, very interesting D! I've just about tried all the cuisines styles here in Darwin and things are getting boring ...

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. D

Same old same old stuff I'll say again...:"Your Blog is VERY entertaining, well written and informative!"... and I thought your site is WAY BETTER than those food-bloggers' sites featured on past the Sunday's Times. Will you consider to be featured on the newspaper as well? Do everyone a favor, you should.

D said...

zhengning: The last dish isn't really a dish per se but more like complimentary after-dinner mints or sweets to make you feel better if you stuffed yourself too much (which I tend to do =D. Yes, there are some kinds of seeds in here but besides fennel, I can't put my finger on what the rest are.

jas: Darwin IS boring! Haha! Just kidding =P

anon: Hi there again, thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

hey d, when my fractured jaw is mended, I was thinking we should catch dinner again! Had been thinking that but somehow this post got me saying it..:D

Is that you in the pic btw, looks very 70s. hehe

Esther said...

I love the food here! If u go back, you *have* to have the fried momos - they are seriously good. I had the palak paneer too - and like u, also thought it would have been better with more, erm, substance