Prior to opening Himshikar Restaurant, Amit Sherchan cooked in Italian restaurants in both Paris and Australia over a 16-year period—that's why this Sauganash storefront initially offered the, er, interesting combination of Nepali, Indian, and Italian food. Sherchan soon scuttled the two pages of Italian dishes—they just "confused" his customers, he told me—and for the most part now sticks to an all-encompassing Indian menu. But it was the half-dozen Nepali dishes I was after. The chicken choila is a composed plate of tender chunks of chile-ginger-garlic chicken breast, with fried soybeans and the flattened "beaten" rice known as baji or chiura lending it a snacky texture that makes it something quite a bit better than the protein choice might indicate. There's also a fiery potato-cauliflower curry (tarkari), a milder yellow lentil dal, and of course momo, the traditional Nepali dumpling, recognizable to anyone who loves pot stickers and Korean mandu. These are pretty remarkable, stuffed to order with herbed ground chicken, then steamed in a tender, almost translucent wrapper and served with a blazing hot tomato-chile chutney. There's also rice pudding and another chicken dish—and that's about it. But Sherchan promises that if there's some particular Nepali dish you have a hankering for, he'll make it with a few days' notice.
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