Cycle 3 – Item 339
9 (Sun) December 2012
-Changsin, Jongro, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
Project 30/30/30: 39 of 45 (see also 45/45/45)
Throughout the past November, I challenged myself to eat 30 dishes from 30 countries over the course of 30 consecutive days – and succeeded. I will continue the project until I run out of dishes or countries or restaurants or steam or money, aiming for 50.
Nepal is the 39th country.
Everest is a Nepali restaurant. The food, if it had to be attributed to any country, would predominantly be characterized as “Indian.”
When I asked the owner about something more distinctively Nepali, he seemed almost apologetic in describing Nepal as a small country strongly influenced in terms of cuisine by its bigger neighbor India.
Fortunately, a back page of the menu featured 3 Nepali set meals: mutton, chicken, vegetarian.
The mutton set was pretty good. It came with 10 items. On a small thali platter: (i) steamed rice (blah), unfortunately the local medium grain, not the longer grain common to South Asia, like basmati; (ii) lentil soup (okay), which was vaguely reminiscent of nurungji tang; (iii) a masala-style mutton curry (nice); (iv) potatoes, tossed lightly in a spicy curry (very nice); and (v) a hot sauce (very nice). The owner suggested combining all 5 components on the platter so that each bite had a bit of everything. Separately, the set also came with: (vi) pickled radish, the yellow kind found in cheap Chinese or Japanese restaurants here, only mixed with curry spices to make an intriguing side dish, just perfect for Korean customers; (vii) yogurt dipping sauce; (viii) sesame papadum; (ix) sliced carrots; and (x) sliced cucumbers. An unbeatable bargain at 10,000 won, proving that Everest remains the best bang-for-buck India/Nepali/South Asian restaurants in the city.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)