Omnivore - A visit to Himalayan Spice
The cuisine of Nepal
I've driven by Himalayan Spice a zillion times since it opened about a year ago, but have never stopped to sample the Nepali menu. I was nervous about recommending it to my Friday-night pals, since several of them dislike Indian food, which has a heavy influence on Nepali cuisine.
But I convinced them to go and, to my surprise, everyone liked it. In fact it earned rare designation as "a restaurant I'd return to."
? ? ?
I'd never eaten Nepali food before. I did have a Tibetan meal at Shangri La in Marietta a few years ago. I also visited a Tibetan restaurant in Paris, where I had a cup of the infamous yak-butter tea. The drink is popular throughout the Himalayas. When I asked our server if it was available, he said "I wish."
Most of us at the table ordered thalis, the circular, partitioned metal plates that provide a taste of several dishes (right photo). When the server asked if I wanted my food spicy-hot or mild. I ordered the former and it wasn't the least bit hot to my palate. A fair assessment, I think, is that Nepali food is generally quite mild, compared to Indian.
Probably the best dish on the table was a starter of mo mo (top photo), steamed dumplings filled with chicken. (As with other sections of the menu, vegetarian-style is also available.) The mo mo, served with a tomato dip called achar, were so juicy they reminded me of soup dumplings. I also liked the chicken 65, a dish that draws many diners to Zyka in the Decatur area.