Everest Restaurant

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Filament.io Made with Flare More Info'> 0 Flares ×

By Eun Sol Baik

Although the closest I’ve been to Nepal or India is a bite of a friend’s curry lunch or subpar restaurants, I daresay Everest Restaurant is the best Nepalese Indian restaurant in Korea , in my experience.

Let me tell you why. First of all, the price and quality are super amazing, extremely hard to beat. The restaurant branching out to 3 different locations over the years proves that. The spices are stronger and richer compared to other places.

The only triangle flag in the world, flag of Nepal The only triangle flag in the world: flag of Nepal

Nepali tribes hand in hand Nepali tribes hand in hand

Countless cultural artefacts from Nepal, in the work as cultural ambassadors Countless cultural artifacts from Nepal, in the work as cultural ambassadors

When I met the owner, Mr. Harka Man Gurung, he had so many interesting stories about the restaurant, Nepal, himself and more that inspired me. I was only thinking “delicious curry” but as I read in his past interview he said “It’s a pity if you only taste the food but not able to look at the culture and the people who make it.”

Uh-oh. Moment of self-reflection. But first things first, pause here and let’s get to the food.

Palak Panir, Garlic Nan, Nepali Set (chicken) 1 Palak Panir, garlic nan, Nepali set (chicken). Southern Nepali food

After a cup of Nepali tea, I ordered my favorite, Palak Panir (hard to find in other restaurants especially in that rich spinach color) and garlic nan, and asked for some suggestions from Mr. Gurung. I asked for something very Nepali, something I might overlook. He suggested the Nepali Set (chicken or mutton, the most common way the Nepali eat), Momo (dense pork dumpling) and Chow Mien (stir fried Nepali noodles). I ordered the first two. It was a good opportunity to taste both Northern and Southern kind of Nepali food. Geographically Nepal is sandwiched between Tibet and India so while Southern Nepal eats a lot of curry, Northern Nepal cooks up things like Momo and Chow Mien and even from the sound of it you can tell that it is Chinese influenced.

One thing to keep in mind is that the kitchen makes your food fresh from when it’s ordered so if you are in a hurry, you should consult with your server. The upside is that it tastes the best that way and the spiciness and vegetarian/vegan options (you know there are so many different kinds!) can be tailored to your personal preference.

Spoonful of Palak Panir on the galic nan Spoonful of Palak Panir on the garlic nan

Mmm. Yummy as always. You can smell the fragrant nan before you eat it. Mr. Gurung suggests placing the curry on top of the nan rather than dipping it in the curry. The taste is so rich, which makes the restaurant irreplaceable.

Palak Panir, Garlic Nan, Nepali Set (chicken) 2

It was my first time to try the set and it came in very good combinations of various things

 Lentil soup DalMung-bean soup Dal

Chicken darkari (darkari means sidedish, including curry)Chicken darkari (darkari means side dish, including curry)

Vegetable darkari (darkari means sidedish, including curry)Vegetable darkari (darkari means side dish, including curry)

Nepali hot sauceNepali hot sauce

Mix it up like bibimbap!Mix it up like bibimbap!

Mr. Gurung taught me a regular Nepali way of eating this set (actually called Dal bhat). By mixing up the sauce, curry and soup you can make it milder or spicier depending on your taste. This really reminded me of my Indian friend’s lunchbox.

Earthy salad, Kimchi-like radish darkari (darkari means sidedish, remember) and Dahi (yogurt)Earthy salad, Kimchi-like radish darkari (darkari means side dish, remember?) and Dahi (yogurt)

More new things arrived in this set, such as the papad and the kimchi-like darkari. The papad was surprisingly really good (I’m craving its crispiness as I write it) and better when dipped in yogurt. For a 10,000 Won set completed with a yogurt dessert, not bad at all, not bad at all.

Momo! Of Northern NepalMomo! Of Northern Nepal

Ordering this Momo might have been the work of my greed and curiosity for the opportunity to try more dishes because we were already pretty full at this point. It was a dense kind of a pork dumpling, of a very satisfying portion.

Say AhhSay Ahh?

The bill came out to be:

For two persons

Nepali tea 2,000 X 2 cups 4,000
Palak Panir 8,000
Garlic nan 2,500
Nepali chicken set 10,000 – ok full at this point
(Momo 6,000) – stuffed

It cost me  30,500 Won to be stuffed plus the relaxing tea time. I would have been good with 24,500 won and if the cost of the tea was subtracted it would be 10,000 Won per person just for the food and we’d still be full. Such an unbeatable price for this cuisine! The prices are kept low since the restaurant opened in 2002 and one should know that is amazingly hard to do, but it’s a way Mr. Gurung says thanks to the many returning customers.

Really cute tea sets, specially ordered by Everest Restaurant and Nepali artisan madeReally cute tea sets, special ordered by Everest Restaurant and Nepali artisan made

Everest Restaurant came up with the idea and it was made to order by a Nepali artisan (who is told to have made a fortune by exporting these, thanks to Mr.Gurung)Everest Restaurant came up with the idea and it was made to order by a Nepali artisan

(who is told to have made a fortune by exporting these, thanks to Mr.Gurung)

Regarding the atmosphere, it depends on the branch. In general it isn’t fancy, but it is kept tidy and clean. I’ve visited two of the three locations, the original location in the Dongdaemun area (Changshin-dong) and the Dongdaemun History Park location. The locations are not too obvious to find but you’ll find out that won’t be a problem. The original location is more Nepali inspired, with more artifacts and a warm atmosphere with a lot of Nepali colors. We were there from 6 to 9pm on a Wednesday and by 7pm the restaurant was full. The Dongdaemun History Park location is rather barer compared to the original location, but on the bright side, it looks spotless clean and it’s way easier to get a table during peak hours. I remember on a weekday night it was slow, good enough for a secret rendezvous. The food experience was the same (awesomeness) for me. Your choice.

Here are pictures of maps and phone numbers:
http://www.everestfood.com/map.htm (The menus work properly on IE, not so great on Chrome, http://www.everestfood.com/)

Open 11AM to 11PM

Everest Restaurant (02-766-8850)
Seoul Jongro-gu Changshin-dong 148-1

Everest Restaurant, Yeongdeongpo location (02-3667-8848)
Seoul Yeongdeongpo-gu Yeongdeongpo-dong 423-103 B1F

Everest Restaurant, Dongdaemun Historical Park location (02-2118-8898)
Seoul Jung-gu Euljiro 6 ga 18-21 Good Morning City B3F

Comments are closed

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Filament.io 0 Flares ×