>> Bajeko Sekuwa | Eat the World NYC

20 July 2018

Bajeko Sekuwa


A beloved four decade old chain has made its first international jump by coming to New York City, opening the first location outside of Nepal. With many locations in Kathmandu where it started, a few others spread around the country, and even spices for purchase in markets, not many Nepalese people have no familiarity with this chain that started as one illegal grill near the airport for folks to grab sticks of meat before catching flights.

When speaking in English, the term used to describe this food is usually "barbecue" even on the restaurant's own website, but somehow this does not capture the spirit. It is meat over coals for sure, but distinct. There is nothing more distinctly Nepalese than sekuwa. To this point, there was really only one place in New York City that did it well, down the road in Woodside.

The goat sekuwa ($12.95, above) is a star here despite being fairly mundane to look at. Inspect closely and you will see the punctures through the meat where each piece was skewered. The dish is served simply, over a bed of puffed rice called bhuja and accompanied by some spicy pickled vegetables and lettuce.

When the menu arrives at the table and your server explains the famous dishes, the back of the menu will not be mentioned, and there is good reason for this. Quite a few Indian and South Asian-Western crossovers like chicken tikka masala populate that part of the menu, and I am sure they do them well, but to get to know Bajeko Sekuwa and the cuisine of Nepal is to stick the front.

One item that everyone knows from the Himalayas is momos, a dish I also could not refuse on the first visit.

I often prefer vegetarian momos over meat versions, but when jhol (soup) versions of these were ordered the man gently nudged me towards their chicken jhol momos ($8.95, above) which he claimed were the "best in the country." While I have not eaten every momo available in the country, shockingly I was unable to argue with his statement as they were incredible.

The soup usually used for these is just a savory liquid, but here it is full of texture and attitude, adding a nice spiciness. It was the kind of stuff that you keep spooning even after the dumplings are gone.

I really cannot wait to get back here and bring a group to explore more of that front side.

Bajeko Sekuwa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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