Grad school, day job, and a tiny food budget have been keeping me out of restaurants and in the kitchen lately, but not so much that I couldn't make it out and around the block to try the new Himalayan restaurant in Seward.
The Himalayan proclaims on their web site: "With a desire to bring authentic Nepalese cuisine to the heart of the Twin Cities, we have now opened Himalayan just across the river in Minneapolis. Come experience the flavors of Nepal, Tibet and India at the Himalayan restaurant with a beautiful view of the Himalayan mountain range. " Himalayan mountain range? In Minneapolis?? Nah. It's just a giant photo of Mt. Everest.
If there's one thing I know about Himalayan restaurants, it's that there's gonna be dumplings, and if there's one thing I know about me, it's that I ADORE all dumplings.
So on a late Sunday evening, gerg and I headed to The Himalayan for one purpose - to eat momos. What are momos? They're steamed dumplings, and at the Himalayan, they're served with "your choice of meat or vegetarian or chicken or yak."
We settled at the only open table and scanned the menus. I was conflicted, but after tapping into my love for fried dumplings, we settled on the kothe. What are kothe? They're fried momos! Genius!
The yak kothe are yummy at The Himalyan. They source the yak from a farm in St. Cloud - I'm guessing it's sourced from Hooper's Yak Ranch . Yak are native to the Tibetan Plateau of the Himalayan Mountains, but apparently also like Minnesota. The yak meat at The Himalayan is tender, juicy, and flavorful. Seriously, try the yak kothe...unless you don't eat meat.
While I could have eaten only dumplings for dinner, I noted a Palak Paneer dish on the menu. Palak Paneer is spinach and cheese cubes suspended in a creamy sauce with spices, and it's one of my favorite comfort foods. Now, the paneer ain't like cheese curds, y'all - paneer is a fresh and delicate cottage cheese made from whole milk. The Palak Paneer at The Himalayan was different from others I've had. It was much creamier than others I've had - mouthcoating, rich, flavorful, very comforting on the comfort food scale. I ordered medium spiciness in my Palak Paneer, and it definitely had some heat. I also ordered some garlic naan bread to go with the Palak Paneer, and it was some of the best nan bread I've had in years. These two big pieces of unleavened bread were soft and nicely blistered, and piping hot.
To drink, I ordered a mango lassi. The mango lassi was interesting at The Himalayan. A lassi is a sweet yogurt based drink made with mango in most cases. The Himalayan's version seemed to have a higher yogurt ratio than others I've had, which is ok if you like yogurt, and I do. It was less sweet than others I've had. The yogurty lassi definitely did the job cooling my mouth, which was feeling pretty firey after the Palak Paneer.
The night we were there, they were hosting an event, and they had one table to spare for us. Our service was prompt, despite the crowd.
I'll definitely go back. I want to try the yak momos, the kwati (lentil soup) and the bheda ko masu (lamb curry).
2401 E. Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
[where: Sustainable Food, St. Paul, Twin Cities, Minnesota]