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Mike Sula

Nepali and India fare from the owners of Curry House.

Our Review

Located less than half a mile south of Chicago Curry House and run by the same owners, Nepal House shares a nearly identical menu, a small selection of actual Nepalese food headlining a large selection of the same northern and southern Indian dishes you see everywhere. Why the South Loop and Near South Side got so lucky is beyond my power to fathom, but I'll not complain about another more-than-decent option for the mildly spicy food of the Himalayas. You and a partner can pretty much cover the bases on the former by ordering a couple thalis, circular sampler trays dominated by a large pile of fluffy basmati rice surrounded by small aluminum bowls filled with yogurt, dal, vegetables, and curries. Khasi and kurkhura, bone-in goat and chicken, respectively, in a mildly spiced gravy, are particularly good. Aaluko achar, an uncommon dish of crunchy vegetables with a slightly and not unpleasantly bitter flavor from fenugreek and turmeric, goes great with the "beaten" flat rice known as chiura. A snacky option is bhatmas, crunchy dry-roasted soybeans tossed with raw red onions, chiles, and a squirt of lemon juice. And of course you're going to order the momo, plump chicken or vegetable dumplings wrapped so tight you could bounce them. But be forewarned if you're looking for bolder-tasting stuff on the lopsided Indian list: lamb vindaloo, typically a blazing hot dish, is prepared only moderately spicy, which doesn't bode well for the rest of the menu if you're looking for chile heat.

Mike Sula

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