Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tibetan/ Himalayan Food: Himalaya Restaurant, Plattsburgh, NY

You know, I eat a lot of ethnic foods so it's hard to find something new for me to try nowadays. When I visited my friend in upstate New York, she told me she was bringing me to a Himalayan restaurant, so I expected something like Everest in Seoul; Nepalese food which is essentially the same as Indian cuisine. When I found out that they specialized in Tibetan and Bhutanese food (with just a few Nepalese options) I was immediately more curious about the place. I expected it to be much like the Nepalese food I'd had, but boy was I mistaken. We ordered four plates and shared everything so that we could get a good variety of dishes. We ordered three from their Tibetan selection and one from their Bhutanese selection.

Forgive me if I screw up some of the names of these dishes. I took a photo of the menu and I think I remember which one is which, but I could be off. Please correct me if so. Above, you can see the Phingsha. This is described as "Beef and potatoes sauteed with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and slowly stewed in light rice vermicelli". The bread that comes along with it is called Drobuk which is a steamed flour dough bread.

The second dish here is Nhapta which is described as "Sliced pieces of meat sauteed with green peppers onions, tomato, ginger and garlic." Again, this is served with the steamed bread called Drobuk.

The last Tibetan dish we had was called Momo. "Coarsely chopped beef, onions, cilantro encased in flour dough and steamed." They claim that theirs is made the traditional way with coarse beef as opposed to other Tibetan restaurants in the US who serve it with ground beef. This is eaten by putting some of the cabbage on the side on the Momo and eating the two together.

This last dish came from the Bhutanese selection. It looks like curry, but in fact, it tastes nothing like the sort. It is called Emma Dasi and is described as "mildly sauteed peppers garnished with tomatoes, onions and fresh cheese." The disappointing part of this dish is that it does not contain the hot peppers which are usually added to Bhutanese food. The menu clearly explains that they do not include the hot peppers because they do not feel that we are able to eat spicy food, but if you call ahead, they can prepare it with spicy peppers if you desire. But, despite the lack of spice it was delicious. I expected a curry flavor to it, but there was none, just a very creamy, rich taste.

As this was my first time to try Tibetan food, I can't really make any judgements as to it's authenticity, but I can say that I loved what I had. I'm trying to find a Tibetan restaurant in the Boston area, and there are a few, but they all seem very overpriced and have mixed reviews. Himalaya Restaurant had everything a person can ask for. Great food, great prices, friendly staff and a great ambiance. The whole meal came to less than $50.00 for the four dishes, including tax. Portion sizes are very reasonable here. You go home feeling satisfied, but not stuffed and no need to take home leftovers. An oddity in a restaurant in America.

78 Margaret St
Plattsburgh, NY 12901

(518) 772-7034
Mon – Sat: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm

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