After a great morning out on the Atlantic for a whale watch, Kasia, Ben, and I headed back to Allston for lunch at Mt. Everest Kitchen, our first experience with the cuisine of Nepal.
Situated near the intersection of Allston Street and Brighton Ave., the restaurant is rather simple both inside and out with perhaps a dozen tables and pictures of Mt. Everest and Nepal on the walls. Before our waitress could even come to the table, we were fortunate enough to be greeted by a rather large beetle climbing on the wall - nothing a quick swat couldn't fix. The front door was open to the outside, so we didn't think anything of it.
Kasia and Ben both opted for one of the 'set meals', consisting of a choice of one appetizer, rice, lentils, salad, and achar served with choice of lamb, goat, or chicken curry, plus coffee or tea. For the appetizer both chose the vegetable Mo-mo, typical Nepali vegetable dumplings with fresh coriander, ginger, and garlic.
They were very delicious and fresh-tasting, but I think my favorite part was the selection of three sauces with which they were served.
The first was 'mild' and seemed to consist primarily of diced coriander (cilantro) and fresh mint, providing a really interesting and refreshing combination of mint and spice. The 'medium' was orange in color and nice and tangy while the 'hot' (not very much at all, however) was more acidic and salty in flavor.
For my meal I chose the Khasiko masu, diced goat meat cooked in a traditional style, garnished with fresh coriander leaves. The goat had a nice flavor as did the mild-curry tasting sauce. Where Mt. Everest really shined, however, was in the set meals ordered by Kasia and Ben
The set meal can basically be likened to a Japanese Bento box - it is served on a single plate, but with each consituent neatly separated in its own compartment. The 'salad' seemed to be of the collard green family, steamed and served with a really great spice combination. The 'achar', which according to Wikipedia is "a variety of spicy pickled side dishes or condiments" was quite interesting. It was essentially an assortment of potatoes, peas, carrots in a really unique sauce. It almost had a mild pepper flavor, but at the same time cooled your mouth as if it were menthol. Kasia and Ben both agreed with this crazy description! The curry was sweet and savory - I could have just eaten the sauce as a soup. The basmati rice was pretty standard, and the taste of the lentils might be compared to the aroma of one of the Tibetan stores on Newbury Street.
Finally, our meal was accompanied with rooti, the Nepali version of naan bread - we had the lasun ko rooti, which was clay-oven baked with garlic and herbs. Delicious!
When the bill came, we had barely spent over $30 combined for a delicious meal and a great first experience with the food of Nepal!