Restaurants are often considered not for what they are in themselves, but for how they stack up against their peers. And lately, the Subcontinental food scene here has hurriedly grown up. Perhaps that is why we haven’t returned to Nepali Kitchen for some time. But upon revisiting, things remain the same.
And this is mostly a good thing. The Himalayan decor here is perfect for both a hushed first date or a big dinner with friends, and you can either lounge on the floormats upstairs, searching for comfort amidst shifting pillows, or sit in the more traditional, upright manner. On busy nights, be sure to specify your preference. Service isn’t their strength, as occasionally surly, traditionally dressed Nepalese patrol the three floors. But there are 10 wines (seven reds, three whites and a rose) under ¥200; it’s one of precious few places in Shanghai where the wine list doesn’t incite disdain and/or anger in this reviewer. Perhaps you’ve heard this all before.
Having never been to Nepal, we’d describe the food as Indian’s lighter cousin. And the curries here can vary from thin but flavorful (beef or chicken) to soupy (they need to work at their watery veggie curry and daal – both too reminiscent of Lhasa hostels for our taste). Spicy, garlic and coriander marinated beef choila is always a safe choice, as is Nepali’s chicken chili; this Chinese-inspired dish might be their best. All this food, soaked up in a buttery peas pulao and washed down with a fruity red makes for a hearty, autumn meal. One that, unlike the leaves, won’t change anytime soon.