Takeaway meals aren’t always a fair reflection of what a restaurant has to offer.
But after a wonderful pick-up a couple of months ago, Gurkha 91, a still relatively new Nepalese eatery in Deeping St James, was going to have to go some to top it; but it did just that.
The place itself is what you might call unassuming - if you can find the shop unit hidden away on a housing estate that is. I took a few wrong turnings and I have been before.
It is small but still quite tasteful inside - there are some great images of the country on the walls - and the crockery and cutlery is quite classy. And that comes in quite handy with regards to presentation, a skill clearly not lost on the chef and his team in the kitchen.
As you might imagine given Nepal’s location in south Asia, the menu reads very much like one you would find in many an Indian restaurant - samosas and bhajis classic examples on the starter menu, with a few exceptions that you would imagine are Chinese influences such as chow mein noodles.
There are, of course, a good number of traditional Nepalese dishes too such as lasun kukhura khursani and chickenbhutawa.
Always keen to try something new I kicked off with momo - mince lamb and vegetable dumplings - very tasty little pale steamed suet parcels with a spicy filling and pleasantly hot sesame seed chutney. Cooked to order (so be prepared to wait) and nicely presented.
Donna had the chili chicken (which we had as a takeaway) and was equally impressed. Soft, coated chicken pieces with capsicum, onion and spices... hot but packed with great flavours.
The salmon tikka was a feast of sight and smell as it arrived on the sizzler packed with onions and peppers. There was plenty of it, succulent and very tasty.
I had a house special - karahi - barbecued chicken, prawns and lamb in a dark, rich, thick sauce flavoured with peppers, onions, red wine, and Nepalese herbs and spices.
I had it with a portion of noodles, again flavour-packed with spring onions and coriander evident.
I wasn’t overly taken by the flavour of the dal makhani but did enjoy the pickle tray that came with the dry and crispy poppadoms - which included grated carrot with a very festive almost nutmeg flavour.
The food is reasonably priced, as are the drinks, and the service pleasant in comfortable surroundings.
BRAD’S RATING: 8
VENUE DETAILS: Gurkha 91, Manor Way, Deeping St James. Tel 01778 347575 online at www.gurkha91.com