Nepali Goodness in Vancouver
All photos: Matt Musselman.
This is Abi. He owns Cafe Kathmandu.
When I first met Abi last July, I asked him if I could read a magazine while I waited for my friends. As a Gemini, this would be the first time I ever made it on time; at 45 minutes early, however, I was afraid I would wear out my welcome at this new Nepali restaurant. It was ok by Abi and he made sure I had enough tea during the long wait.
Since then, Abi has become my favourite restauranteur. He recognizes me whenever I visit so it almost feels like Cheers.
But it gets better!
What you see above is bhutuwaa with chiuraa. Bhutuwaa is the goaty one. “Marinated in savory spices, then pan fried,” I once ordered it hot, confident in the strength of my stomach lining. Yet Abi-hot rather exceeded acceptable levels of hot, bringing me face to face with a then unexperienced level of vicious brain-burning frenzy.
Chiuraa is rice, flattened with what I presume are mini steamrollers to a slightly crunchy texture.
Khasiko maasu, the night’s curry choice, again featured goat. Sprinkled with cilantro leaves, the stew-like sauce came from the tarkaari, or medium-sized dish, part of the menu.
While we did order two tipan tapan (small) dishes, the singadaa – samosa-like pastries with a pink dipping sauce – looked too yummy for their own good and disappeared before the camera was remembered.
I wised up when the Llasa momo arrived and behold! -
The most wonderful dumplings on earth, with a sesame-cilantro sauce! I sincerely believe that this sauce is the thing to get people over their cilantro inhibitions, just as Worcestershire sauce is the road to anchovy love. The dumplings themselves, we wondered if the dough was homemade; none of that plastic taste you get from frozen food aisle varieties.
Now that you have a great first impression of Abi, here he is in his serious pose. Nepalis, he told us, get all formal when they take photos.