>> Gorkhali Nepalese Restaurant & Bar | Eat the World NYC

12 March 2020

Gorkhali Nepalese Restaurant & Bar


It must have been eight months or more since Gorkhali had put up its bold sign on Roosevelt Avenue, signaling another expansion of the area's Himalayan cuisine. But then as happens with a lot of restaurants trying to open, realities of bureaucracy and the unknown set in and the windows remained papered. There must have been two dozen occasions on other trips to the neighborhood that the (lack of) progress was checked in on.

And then finally, poof! In mid-February the restaurant opened up and hit the ground running. The first floor seems to be constantly busy with small groups of family and friends as well as solo diners coming in for lunch. There is a steam table, possibly a sign of the previous tenant or maybe offerings still to come, but currently unused.

If you come for a one of those weekday lunches, you will be seated downstairs where the walls have been given a coat of bright orange paint. Upstairs is where you will find the "bar" portion of the name, along with quite a bit more seating amongst an open dining room. This seems to be where the action will take place during busy times, albeit without spirits as for now there is no alcohol.

One of the first things you notice when looking at the menu here at Gorkhali is that unless your familiarity with Nepalese foods is very high, there are many dishes that are unfamiliar and not in every restaurant around town. This was true on this occasion with the bhatmas sadeko (above), a "salad" snack made of dried soybeans and some excellent chili and herb enhancements. This made the lack of a bar more sad, as the spicy crunch would go perfectly with a cold beer.

Because chicken and vegetables made their way to the table in other forms, an order of the beef jhol momo (above) was preferred, eight perfectly formed dumplings in a slightly spicy soup. This dish was slap in the face good, rising to near the level of the jhol momo from Bajeko Sekuwa in Sunnyside. It is one of those times in life where drinking all the leftover juice is required, embarrassment or not.

Halfway through the meal a family of three sat down and ordered thalis, a different one for each person. While waiting, they told the story of the chef, a woman who had faced tragedy and loss but was in their view most deserving of a restaurant like this. They were very excited to be able to eat her food on a more regular basis now.

Furthering the theme of appetizers, the chicken choila (above) is one with dense grilled hunks of meat cooked with red chili oil. These are a bit tough and dry but absolutely delicious. Order this in Nepal and you are likely to have sweat running down your forehead, but here they tone it down quite a bit.

Another dish that was initially unrecognized was khasiko taas (below), boneless pan-fried goat. The finished product takes on the texture of being deep-fried, but the crispy exterior is done through low heat and oil at the bottom of a tawa. The spices and herbs just taste like Nepal, but feel free to squeeze a bit of the lime to cut the grease.

Gorkhali Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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