Another newish venue for us this week, this time Namaste Nepal – a new Nepalese and Indian restaurant on Frogmore Street. We’d already eyed up the menu online and had some chats with the very friendly Sunny via Twitter, so we were pretty optimistic about our meal…
A mid-week booking combined with the fact that the restaurant is very new meant that it was fairly quiet when we arrived, but still managed to provide a welcoming and relaxed environment in which to enjoy our meal. The restaurant itself is beautiful: the walls are decorated in rich shades of red that are complemented by the tablecloths, the dining area lit by unobtrusive spotlights, and the large and well-stocked wood-panelled bar sitting in front of a beautiful patterned glass wall.
I have to confess that I’ve never been exposed to Nepalese food before. It was for this reason that, when the menus arrived, I asked for recommendations from the Nepalese half of the menu, ignoring the traditional Indian curry house dishes, much to the obvious delight of our host. All three of us eventually decided on the Dal Bhat – essentially, a Nepalese thali. Dal Bhat is a staple Nepali meal of rice and lentils, and appears on the Namaste Nepal menu in two different forms: Dal Bhat Masu (with meat), and Dal Bhat Tarkari (with vegetables). The former is priced at £16.95, the latter at £13.95, and both include rice, dal (lentils), cauli tarkari (a cauliflower and potato curry), a poppadum, homemade tomato chutney and a choice of meat/vegetable-based dish from the Nepalese menu.
The poppadums appeared at our table first: crisp and non-greasy and served with the obligatory dishes of mango chutney, raita, finely chopped onion salad and a wonderfully fiery lime pickle that we ended up asking for a second bowl of!
The poppadums were followed by a wait of around 45 minutes for our Dal Bhat, which had us a little concerned. All concern dissipated, though, when our food turned up – it both looked and smelled beautiful.
Laura had ordered the Hass (duck) Choyala for a £1 supplement (£9.90 if ordered on its own as a main dish): chunks of grilled duck breast marinated in traditional Nepalese spices and served on a sizzling platter with onions…
…and Nick ordered the same dish, but with mutton rather than lamb (£9.10 on its own as a main). The speed with which he wolfed it down suggested that he quite enjoyed it 🙂
I decided to go for the mutton momo (£7.95 as a main on their own, or £4.70 as a starter), after seeing Sunny raving about them on Twitter! The meat with which they were filled was beautifully spiced, and the simple flour and water-based dumpling cases were lovely, and with a nice and firm texture compared with similar versions that I’ve had in Chinese restaurants. The portion size was massive, particularly considering that this wasn’t the whole of our main course.
We were also presented with metal trays containing the other dishes in our Dal Bhat…
The portion of rice (the ‘bhat’ part of the dish) that we were each given was enormous! This was accompanied by four metal dishes. The bowl on the left in the above picture contained the Cauli Tarkari: a lightly-spiced cauliflower and potato dish in a tasty sauce of tomatoes, herbs and onions. We were also given a portion of spinach (which wasn’t listed as part of the dish on the menu!), a bowl of traditional yellow lentil soup (dal) and a fourth bowl containing a homemade creamy tomato chutney, which had a lovely tomato flavour to it on the first taste and quite a kick to it afterwards!
This is definitely a meal for the hungry – I had to pass a number of my dumplings over to Nick to finish. And it didn’t stop there: our lovely host brought us a spiced poppadum each to try with our mains: yet another example of how friendly and accommodating Namaste Nepal is, and how eager the staff are to ensure that their customers enjoy their experience.
With drinks (two soft drinks and two small glasses of wine), the bill came to just over £60 in total for the three of us: a bargain, considering the portion sizes, the quality of the food and the brilliant service that we received. I’ll definitely be heading back here again…
Telephone: 0117 930 0779
Address: Unit 2, Unite House, Frogmore Street, Bristol BS1 5NA
Find Namaste Nepal on the Bristol Bites Directory…