Khushi Nepalese – Happy Dining in Boston Manor:
Khushi, apparently, means ‘Happy’ in Nepalese and the team at the eponymous restaurant do their best to reflect that in the way their restaurant operates. I was *almost* very late joining my friends for dinner last week, the Picadilly line came to a standstill a few stops from Boston Manor much to the dismay of travellers on their way to Heathrow, commuters on their way home and me! In fact, the restaurant is so close to Boston Manor tube station that I could walk in 5 minutes (rather than the 15 I’d estimated) greeted by a smiling team and arriving in time for pappadum and chutney, with a white wine spritzer to wash away the pain of rush hour travel.
For the first part of the evening, we seemed to focus on prop envy. At Khushi the classic table settings with white linen tablecloths and napkins are contrasted with walls decorated with typical Indian and Nepalese artifacts. We all rather liked the elephant, though no-one could work out how we could smuggle him out. My companion’s lassi was served in a beautiful and covetable copper mug.
Now, I’ve had the pleasure of dining on Nepalese food before, when one of the team from Belle Assiette came to my home to cook his induction dinner (the trial before he was allowed to cook for the public). And, he made chicken momos for us. I remember them well – little spicy dumplings with a mouthwatering filling of minced chicken. Of course we had to order them again here – we agreed to share the chicken and lamb, leaving the vegetarian to enjoy her own plate of vegetable momos.
I thought perhaps there was some tradition to the shape of the momos, but when I asked, the waiter explained it was simply so they could serve the right dish to the right person!
They were utterly delicious and left to my own devices I might just have ordered more. I particularly liked the lamb – fragrant with spices and herbs and wonderfully tender.
For our main courses we ordered two Nepali Platters (one vegetarian and one with chicken, both priced at £11.95). These come with rice, daal, a curry of your choice and an extra vegetable.
My order, the Newari feast (14.95), was visually the most stunning. Curious as to what Newari food was, I’ve discovered that it’s a subset of Nepalese cuisine. The Newars of Kathmandu produce the most reknown food in Nepale, over 200 elaborate dishes, with different food prepared for different occasions. The Kathmandu Valley is fertile and the people who live there can afford to grow produce other than rice and staples. So, a culture with a rich cuisine has evolved. And I was the beneficiary the other night, at least.
The Newari feast was served on a large tray or plate made from dried leaves, with various dishes heaped in a circle around a large portion of flaked rice. I’ve never tried flaked or beaten rice before (other than in breakfast cereal), but it made a nutty, deliciously textured alternative to steamed rice with all of the dishes.
I particularly liked the chhoyela too which apparently is grilled lamb or chicken marinated with green chilli, fresh ginger, garlic and Nepalese herbs. I could easily have ordered that with some rice and perhaps a vegetable dish. But I wouldn’t have got the pretty plate made of leaves! Even the spicy soya bean mixture was delicious.
Khushi is probably just a little too far West to be somewhere I’ll visit on a regular basis. But, it’s well priced, friendly and the food was really very good. I’d like to go back and explore more of the Nepalese options on the menu – the Kathmandu daal, the Nepalese biriyani and the Nepalese chicken choyela will do to start. Perhaps with just a few more of those delicious momos…
23 Boston Parade,
London W7 2DG