Specializing in Tibetan as well as the usual Nepalese fare, Kathmandu Gangri’s menu offers more than you might usually expect from such a curry house.
Lunches, dinners and party plans are all reasonably priced, as are the drinks. As well draft Asahi and bottled Yebisu, the Nepal Ice proved to be a tasty beer. The service is reasonable too, although the staff could spend more time waiting the floor rather than lurking in the kitchen.
The décor, although new and therefore clean, leaves much to be desired. This basement restaurant is ruined by a spartan interior of bare white walls, wood floors and pale wood furnishings. Not a single picture or hanging rug adorns the walls. Clichéd it may be, but I expect my Nepalese restaurants to be bedecked in the familiar ethnic tat. The chairs seem to have been sourced from a church – the cross motif and Bible shelves on the back of each being a dead giveaway. This decorative deficit results in a lack of character and atmosphere, which is probably one of the reasons that the place seems always to be empty.
Such gripes aside, the food is good. Certainly up there with Manakamana in terms of taste, portions and freshness of ingredients, although the garlic naan didn’t compare favourably. Overall, the food at Kathmandu Gangri has a stronger focus on herbs as well as spices, creating an aromatic flavour that sets it apart. Although delicious looking, many of the Tibetan dishes appeared to be rehashes of tired Chinese takeaway favourites.
Alu Ko Achar – a dry, spicy potato curry with a somewhat gritty texture. The vinegary flavour was quite memorable.
Suimai – cute, open topped dumplings with oily meat curry at the bottom of each compartment. Sauces are dropped in to taste.
Saag Paneer – thick, rich and flavorsome. Plenty of spinach in this and most welcome after the culinary travesty that is Magic India.
Chicken Curry – succulent pieces of chicken with rich, spicy sauce.
Himalayan Shyabhale (“Himalayan Pizza”) – a stodgy pastry base with a herb infused meat pate between base and cheese, tomato and herbs topping. Delicious.
Chicken Saag – delicious, less spinachy than the paneer version.
Prawn Curry – Good, but the prawns were a little lackluster.
Chicken Stir Fry – basically a kind of sweet and sour dish.