On one wall of the Everest Kitchen, located along the same street of Swaadhisht within the neighbourhood of Little India, are scenic shots showcasing the magnificent beauty of the world’s highest mountain—Mount Everest. On the opposite hangs candid shots of the Indo-Aryan and Sino-Tibetan citizens of Nepal, dressed in their traditional outfits, smiling brightly towards the camera.
Everest Kitchen might be a bare-bone restaurant decked in basic wooden furniture, but these pictures surround a framed declaration of intent. They reflect the tradition and culture of Nepalese and North Indian cuisine—a brief insight to the rich flavours that await me.
Searching for good Indian food is easily a walk in the park in Little India. On the contrary, Nepalese food is more of an elusive commodity and to be able to dig out decent Nepalese cuisine on our island requires time and patience.
Set against the backdrop of the Himalayas, Nepal is made up of citizens with different backgrounds and ethnicities. This multitude of influences is thus reflected in the country’s cuisine and cooking techniques.
What I tried
At Everest Kitchen, selections in their menu are mostly Indian influenced. Whilst you might find most of their dishes strangely familiar, the restaurant also boldly introduces a handful of exotically unique bites that aims to inaugurate diners into the world of Nepalese cuisine.
Momo Chicken (S$11.90) is one such dish that comes highly recommended. Commonly eaten as a snack in Nepal, these little white dumplings appear similar to a Korean mandu, Chinese jiaozi and a Japanese gyoza.
At Everest Kitchen, these satchels are stuffed with a mixture of minced chicken and chives. When eaten alone, the filling exuded a slight peppery bite that comes off as being rather bland especially since the skin was on the thicker side.
A dip of the garlicky chilli did help to enhance its overall flavour but, in my opinion, was short-lived since the Momo Chicken subsequently hardened in the air-conditioned environment, making them difficult to swallow. My advice: consume these momos immediately when they are served and be generous on the chilli for maximum enjoyment.
More intriguing still was their Nepali Khaja (S$18.90), a handsome platter of popular Nepalese dishes arranged as a spread in a happy circle. The pipeline of pleasure includes a few spoonfuls of chicken choila, chicken sekuwa, achaar, fried soya beans and what looked like uncooked oatmeal, but turned out to be dried, beaten rice.
While fans of complex flavours and spice will delight in the chicken choila, I preferred the chunky bites of chicken sekuwa. Pelted with spices before being left to loiter in the hot oven, these juicy morsels of chicken were elevated to another level with its random charred bits and tinge of smokiness reminiscent to that of a chicken satay—only bigger and better.
Everest Kitchen’s Nepali achaar is another item that deserves a mention on this seemingly humongous plate. Made with cucumbers, carrots, boiled potatoes and onions, this spicy yet refreshing salad knocks it out of the park with its fistful of roasted cumin and parsley. Here, the achaar worked its magic successfully cutting through the intensity and richness of the other dishes on the table with its undeniable freshness.
The glistening soya beans and pellets of beaten rice make for good alternatives to soften the blow for those of you who can’t seem to handle the spice. Eat them alone to fully appreciate its nutty aroma and savouriness or pair them with something moist on your plate for a pleasing crunch. Trust me, either way works, and you will surely enjoy this break from the heat.
Everest Kitchen sizzles a stellar version of Butter Chicken (S$14.90) that pairs incredibly with a basket of well-executed Garlic Naan (S$3.90).
Tender, bite-sized chicken aside, the outrageously rich curry gravy complemented the crisp and smoky Garlic Naan with utmost perfection. I’m not exaggerating right here, but this is the kind of curry that shouts at you again and again until you have spooned up every last smear.
By the time I was done at Everest Kitchen, my fingers were oily, and I smelled richly of spices and happiness. You certainly wouldn’t expect to find inspiring dishes at such an unassuming corner of the street.
I left the restaurant thinking of a reason that might be the cause of the lack of diners. With food at this standard and quality, it certainly deserves more spotlight and attention and I hope that my words have done Everest Kitchen some justice. If you are looking for somewhere exotic and different to enjoy a meal, why not give this Everest Kitchen a try?
Don’t let all the negative Google reviews scare you away; if I were, I wouldn’t have found a gem like this.
Expected Damage: S$12 – S$25 per pax
Our Rating: 4 / 5
55 Chander Road, Singapore 219550
55 Chander Road, Singapore 219550