>> [CLOSED] Himalayan Hut | Eat the World NYC

23 April 2011

[CLOSED] Himalayan Hut

CHINA
INDIA

[UPDATE: CLOSED]

First of all, this place is going to require an explanation. I am not entirely understanding it myself, but the gist of it is that this is the kind of Chinese food you would find in a place like Calcutta. Desi-style halal Chinese. Simple as that. The owner is half-Chinese, half-Tibetan, raised in Calcutta, and speaks English with an Indian accent. It's amazing, really.

There are two menus, one that appears like a standard Chinese takeout menu, and one that shows the Desi side of the kitchen. For me, that's the reason to come here in the first place, so this is what we found.



The Manchow soup ($3, above) was recommended to me, and starts the meal out decently. It appears similar to hot & sour soup, but is very unlike it. The garlic taste is the strongest, and like its sibling, a sprinkle of white pepper on top does it well.

The most "oohs" and "ahs" at this meal came from the pan-fried chicken ($6, below), a plate of thinly sliced, breaded, and fried chicken of a dark brown-red color. The only problem is that it came less than brutally spicy, which we were told it would. The owners then told us straight up that they dumb their food down for white people, even when they ask for it to be made properly. This of course can be looked at two ways, either offensive, or you can empathize with them and all the costs they have to eat from people that could not handle the spices. I'll let you decide.



Because we were not so impressed, she did take the opportunity to make another batch for us, and the second attempt was really magnificent. Weirdly enough, it did not show up on the first bill we were presented and we thought it was comped, but DID show up after a credit card was given and ran. We did not mind paying for the food (which we did not ask for), but that's very odd, and sort of shady.

When you say "Himalayan" in the title of a place, you have to order the momos ($6, below). We got the beef variety on her advice, which were decent but a bit bland. They tended more towards Chinese dumplings than their proper Tibetan equivalents, but the bright orange sauce they are served with really packed a punch.



We also wanted some hakka noodles ($8.50, below), and took her advice again to order the shrimp. It is served with a sweet sauce which is great to dump all over before serving, letting the noodles soak it up. It's a tough dish to appreciate when all the others have a strong kick to them, but it is a good flavor balance nonetheless.



Since it was lunch and we needed rice, we ordered two specials ($6.95), the hot garlic fish (not shown) and ginger chicken (below). The latter had a good heat was decent, while the former resembled sweet and sour Chinese takeout standards in both look and taste.



Looming above our table on the non-descript printout of daily specials was mushroom datsi ($9.95, below), which was great and very unique. Mushrooms and thick cheese, infused with fiery peppers. The faint of heart (stomach) can push these little guys to the side and enjoy the dish, but add them to your fork-fulls for complete bliss.



A nice gesture at the end of the meal was a plate of tingmo (below), which always has a great texture and is enjoyable to eat, but really needs a soup or something to eat it with, as it does not have a great deal of taste.




When we asked about fortune cookies (it's Chinese takeout, come on!), she told us they have them for kids. They were not served with the bill.

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