Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gurkha Palace

This month's halt on FoodieExpress started off with "Gurkha Palace", a place serving authentic Nepalese and north Indian food. A friend of mine had been raving about the momo's served there and so we decided to check it out.

The restaurant is situated bang in the middle of Little India, along Chander road (its Chandler minus 'l', for people like me who struggle to remember the name). Take the second right while walking along Race course road (from Little India MRT) and then left. Walk down this road till you come across the restaurant to your left. Also note a ridiculous sign "Hurry! Hurry! Fish head curry" in front of one the restaurants along this road. Jeeeez!

The restaurant was a bit small and we had to squeeze a bit amongst the other tables to get to our table. The walls are adorned with pictures and Nepalese handicrafts. It had a very homely feel to it. Once I sat down at the table, I felt very comfortable in the surroundings although the restaurant was quite packed. We also happened to bump into two friends of ours, Sri and Appu at the restaurant. This came as a very pleasant surprise and they joined us for dinner. After all, the more the merrier.

The menu was very very similar to a north Indian menu and many of the items were quite familiar. When we quizzed the manager about the difference in the two cuisines, he opinioned that while the north Indian dishes were quite creamy and made use of more spices, the Nepali dishes were less creamier and made use of some different spice and were more subtle.

We started off with a some Mix pakoras, Veg momos and kukhara momos (chicken). While, I thoroughly enjoyed the pakoras (they were light and not oily), the momos were just about ok. Looks like it was an off day. These came with some green and red chutney, which went very well with the dishes.

Since, we wanted to taste some unique dishes, we ordered things whose names werent familiar. On second thought, we must have asked the waiter for recommendations. Vegetarian items on the main course comprised of Aloo Dum(marinated potatoes cooked in Nepali spices, onion and tomato), Mismas tarkari(Mix vegetables cooked in Nepali spices) and Simi Tama(Steamed kidney beans and bamboo shoots cooked in tomato and yoghurt) along with Naan. I liked the food. It was quite light and flavoured in a subtle manner. Like I said before, it had a very homely feel. The best part was that I didn't feel like I had eaten a godown of spices, unlike in some Indian restaurants. My only grouse was that the quantities served weren't very large. Could have easily finished a couple of side-dishes by myself if very hungry.

Aloo Dum and Mismas Tarkari

SimiTama along with a basket of Naan

I would definitely come back here. Like I said before, very light food and a homely feeling. And quite away from the maddening crowds of Little India on a weekend. We paid about S$15 per head for the meal, which comprised of starters, main course and tea. Very cost effective in my opinion. We didn't try the dessert section though, but will definitely do so on our next visit.

Speaking of tea, check out this funny description of Himalayan tea in the menu -


Should you visit? I would say Yes! But my friends were a bit skeptical. Shub felt that the food was slightly bland and so-so. Sash did not find it all that great and was of the opinion that same food would be much better at other restaurants in the country. Sumanth felt the place was very cost effective. Only Viv echoed my opinion.

So, I would suggest that if you are around in the area, do visit the place.