Food Adventure #10: Nepal

Finally finishing up Nepal, it is my favorite time, with a discussion of the food we had in Nepal. 
We ate mostly local dishes for lunch and dinner and as I mentioned in the earlier post we even had one night at a local house eating completely authentic food. 
I did not take detailed notes on all the meals as they all varied slightly but we stuck to some main themes and ordered some similar dishes every day to compare places. I will mainly go through the dishes without detailing which days we had meals and where we had them, with one delicious exception. Our final dinner in Nepal.
Nepalese food is a mix of cultural influences but has distinct flavors and textures all their own.
The first dish that we tried a lot below is called a Momo.

Momos look like Chinese dumplings but are in reality totally different. They are filled mainly with chicken and/or vegetables and not pork and do not have the same flavor as Chinese dumplings. The best ones we had were moist on the inside with a light doughy texture that was not too heavy. They are always served with a spicy, curry tomato sauce on the side that added a unique Nepalese flavor to the dish. Each sauce was slightly different as well and I think the best really had a balance between the curry flavor and some chili spice. Not too hot and not too much curry or it overpowered the Momo.
The remainder of the main dishes really center themselves around curry based meat or vegetables. The curry was similar to Indian curries and not like Thai curry. However, the flavor was not as powerful as Indian curry but was more subtle and thus did not really take over the meal.

The dish above has a combination of chicken curry, vegetable curry and of course rice. The addition of rice, in Nepal like the rest of Asia, makes this a real meal. Without rice the food is merely a snack and in fact in Chinese at times the word for rice and meal are used interchangeably.
Next comes the beer
 

 We drank a fair bit of beer mainly as you see in the first picture Everest Beer and a few times had Gorkha beer as well. They both tasted fairly similar in lager style with a hint of bitterness. It was amazing to see the wonderful logos on the beer and the really unique advertising that goes along with it. There was another beer called Nepal Ice that we did not get to try but that could be a reason to go back to Nepal, as if we needed another one.
Brace yourselves folks, the last night in Nepal we had a true foodie experience. It was the food highlight of the trip (neck and neck with eating at Rajinder’s house).

The dinner was at a restaurant called Krishnarpan. It was 12 courses of food and the decor blew me away. See our table setting below when we first sat down.
We were seated by our hostess, after removing our shoes, and sat down on floor mats in traditional Nepalese style. We then received our menus…printed specifically for each one of us with our names and the wonderful layout of dishes that was to await us.
I will show every dish some brief comments and then sum it up at the end.

The photo above is of the rice wine and tea that were served to us right away. This rice wine was little less potent than the homemade version we had earlier, but it was still made for cold winter nights. I liked it but glad I did not drink too much so I could truly enjoy the food.

 Dish #1: Assortment of Nepali dishes served during religious ceremonies

A wonderful start to the night with a mix of curry chicken, flattened crispy rice (beaten rice), dal, and a few other dishes that tempted the palate. Good mix of spices and textures…but almost too much food too early. 
Dish #2: Rice Crepes with chicken filling

Similar to a sandwich wrap but more refined. Sweet curry flavor and very tender chicken. 
Dish #3: River Fish with Nepali Rice Risotto

One of my favorite dishes of the night. The fish had a crispy skin that kept the inside moist and was a light spice that complemented the light trout.
Dish #4: Bottle Gourd Stuffed with cheese

Time for some vegetables and the bottle gourd was interesting, a bit chewy for me but the mouse and cheese filling tasted great.
Dish #5: Grilled Wild Boar
Another curry type dish with a nice tender piece of meat. Not as gamey as I was expecting. I would recommend boar, especially like this.
Dish #6: Potato Bread with Schezwan Pepper
This was not bread as we know it, but a wonderful patty of mashed potatoes infused with a variety of spices. A little mushy as I was hoping for bread but again a nice flavor.
Dish #7: Stir-Fried Meat marinated with Nepali Spices

The mystery meat was quite good. It had a nice crunch to it but was a bit salty after eating the whole thing but would have been better in smaller portion. Good texture change.
Dish #8: Lamb with Nepali Spices

 Excellent. Love the lamb.


Dish #9: Momos

Wonderful momos even after having them for the past four days. Light doughy wrappers with very moist and flavorful meat.


Dish #10: Asparagus Soup

Not too salty and not overly powerful. Good if you like asparagus (I am not a fan.)
Dish #11: Main Course (Mixed dishes)

Dishes included rice, dal
Dish #12: Mango Nectar/Pudding

I love dessert and this was no exception. Just the sweetness of mango, no added sugar needed. If only had room to finish it.
Summary
The dinner at Krishnarpan was simply amazing. It was great to get this kind of culinary expertise on Nepal’s food. It was gourmet dining mixed with sitting on the floor local style. The dishes were simply more refined and more balanced than other meals we had. Also, the decor made you feel special and that always helps the dining experience. It was a great finish to a wonderful trip with family and I would highly recommend this as a splurge on any trip to Nepal.

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