Even finding the place was difficult. When you realise the restaurant is in a dark alley, that’s when your heart starts thumping like crazy and you start praying that Google Maps has led you in the right direction. This was what happened when Bernice and I visited Gurkha Palace for dinner. However, instead of some lonely restaurant, we experienced the homely hospitality of Nepal.
We got to the place in the end. It was not as scary as we first thought, just go before 6pm and you won’t have to walk down the road in semi darkness. A middle aged lady welcomed us to our seats as we drank in the surroundings. There was a giant wallpaper that had a window view of the mountains and they had colourful flags brightening up the other walls. Drums hung from a hook and an assortment of prayer items were placed on the cashier counter.
Bernice and I settled for Mismas Takari, Gurkhali Lamb, Poori, Butter Naan, Cheese Naan and wrapped up our meal with Sikarni and the Nepalese Special Tea.
While waiting for our food to arrive, we were offered Papadum with some Hari Chutney. This Hari Chutney is made up of cilantro and mint leaves and has a slight peppermint taste. A great snack as we waited ravenously for the main dishes to arrive.
All the dishes arrived at the same time except for the Sikarni and the Tea which we requested to be served later.
The Mismas Tarkari ($6.50) is basically mixed vegetables cooked in a slightly spicy curry. I started wrapping up the vegetables in the Poori ($5 for a basket), and together with the Poori, it was like a substitute for rice for the Asian in me.
Bernice started wrapping the Mismas Takari with the Butter Naan ($1.50) and Cheese Naan ($3.50) and gave me a piece to try. I recommend the Cheese Naan with the Mismas, it balanced out the spiciness of the vegetables but does not overpower the taste.
The Gurkhali Lamb ($14.50) was a giant treat for us. The spices that was added into the marinate was fragrant and the taste did not let us down. We practically gobbled it down because the meat was so succulent. I found it a bit too oily for my taste, but Bernice was fine with it. Similar to the Mismas Takari, we started wrapping the meat in the Poori and Naans and ate them together. Fantastic! I love the way we could just mix and match food items and they just go so well together.
For dessert we had Sikarni ($5). It was homemade whipped yoghurt with small berries and nuts added into it, plus a drizzle of honey to sweeten the whole thing. I wasn’t too keen on it at first but the lady tending to the restaurant strongly recommended it. It turned out to be really good. The honey and berries quelled the sourness of the yoghurt so it turned out to be a deliciously sweet concoction.
The Nepalese Special Tea ($5) came around the same time as the Sikarni. It was a light tea with milk added to it. On first taste, it was similar to the Korean ginger tea, coupled with a light aromatic gingery aftertaste. But being the sweet tooth I was, I threw in 2 packets of sugar for each cup. We got the pot of Nepalese Special Tea so it could fill around 4.5 cups. It was a good end to the meal, where 2 friends chat about life over a steaming pot of tea.
Albeit slightly difficult to get to, Gurkha Palace has a homely feel to it. The restaurant owner tries his best to talk to everyone and even brings his little baby out to see the customers. On a week day evening, the whole place is slightly noisy resembling a really big family gathering.
Gurkha Palace is at Chander Road. Just take a short 15 min walk from Little India MRT. There are a few twist and turns on the road so I hope Google Maps will serve you well! Your reward for finding the place is a great taste of authentic Nepalese cuisine.
51 Chander Road
Lunch: Tues to Friday from 1200- 1500
Dinner: Mon to Sat from 1800-2230
Tel: +65 62924316
(Photo editing courtesy of Goh Liang Yu)