[Manchester, West Didsbury] Gurkha Grill
This Nepalese restaurant seems to have been there for donkeys years. Certainly I’ve walked past it many times but this is the first time we’ve been.
Much of the menu is the bog standard offerings from any number of north Indian places – the “any protein with any sauce” type of meal. But there are some more interesting things to be had.
We passed on the usual poppadums offer but were pleasantly surprised to receive a freebie salad – tomato, onion, pepper, chickpeas – brought together with the zing of lime juice and a hefty chilli kick.
My partner enjoyed her chana chaat – the same ingredients as the freebie salad but a less intense flavouring and with a good sourness from tamarind. I’d ordered a very Nepalese dish of momo – minced chicken dumplings, very similar to Chinese dim sum, but served in a very spicy tomato sauce. Although interesting in itself, it wasn’t a dish I’d be in a rush to return to – the sauce overpowered what was probably a delicately spiced dumpling.
We both went with lamb mains from the Gurkha specialities menu. First up was Khasi Ko Bhutwa – the meat had been cooked first long and slow, so that was very tender and then finished in the pan to crisp the exterior with ginger, garlic and cumin. It is served dry with the spices just forming the crisp coating. It was lovely and such a change from the very wet dishes you often come across from this part of the world.
Speaking of very wet dishes, I’d ordered Aduwa Khasi. A fragrant dish of, again, excellent tender lamb; the sauce with lots of sliced ginger and “al dente” green pepper and finished with fresh coriander. It worked very well with the pilau rice that we had to accompany the mains.
Unfortunately, the pretty good food was let down by less than stellar service. My main course had to go back as they’d prepared it with chicken rather than the lamb as ordered. And a side order of tarka daal had to be chased and didn’t arrive until we’d all but finished.