Sunday 14 April 2013

Everest Gurkha, Chelmsford

I'm a big fan of Nepalese food. My parents live in Folkestone in Kent and nearby is the army base where the Gurkha's are based. There are a lot of Nepalese-owned businesses and a few restaurants, with one in particular (Gurkha Palace) a family favourite. So I think I know a little bit about what makes good Nepalese food. Not long before my business moved away from Chelmsford, Everest Gurkha opened, about 60 seconds walk from my old office. This has been on the 'places to try' list since then but I don't often go to Chelmsford. A visit last night (to the excellent Ale House nearby) presented the perfect opportunity to try it.

When we walked in the restaurant at about 19h30 it was busy and for a second we thought we wouldn't get a table. Luckily we did. The decor is a little garish in places (multi-coloured up-lights that belong in an episode of 'Buck Rogers'!) But overall a nice environment, and certainly an improvement on the previous incumbents, Cosmopolitan.

Three of us ordered the beef dumplings to start with, essentially a sort of dim sum. When the dish arrived, it looked a little uninspiring. However, these were light and flavoursome, and the spicy yellow dipping sauce that accompanied them was great.

Main course for me was dal maasu, a sort of thali dish with a few things to try. There was a lamb butuwu curry, a clay oven cooked chicken tikka, dal tarka and steamed rice. All were great, right down to the fluffiness of the rice. It always surprises me how nice a simple serving of rice can be when steamed perfectly. The high point of the main course was the dal, which had a deep yellow colour and was very fragrant. I shared a potato dish with a mate and also ordered a garlic nan bread but these were entirely unnecessary with all that I had to eat.

The staff were attentive and couldn't refill and replace our beers quick enough, the excellent Gurkha brand which is becoming more common; presumably this is because it is now brewed in the UK, which I don't think it was previously.

All in all, great food in a great place at a great price, a little over £25 each before service. Highly recommended, and one to visit for all you 'Chelmo' readers.

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