Bangkok's top destination for Himalayan cuisine.
This humble spot serves up Himalayan cuisine (focusing on dishes from Nepal, Bhutan and Kashmir) with loads of vegetarian options. The room is filled with floor seating, mountain photos and prayer flags, an evocative setting for food that’s humble and uncool but super-comforting. Highlights include the vegetarian and chicken momos (small dumplings with chilli sauce) and aloo achar, a simple, spicy potato curry.
In the restricted realm of vegetarian eating options in our fair city, when we come across a tiny restaurant that does not Indian, but more specifically, Himalayan cuisine (focusing on dishes from Nepal, Bhutan and Kashmir) with loads of vegetarian options, we can’t help but commend the place just for existing.
But Himalaya does have a few more things going for it. The room is filled with floor seating, mountain photos and prayer flags, and every table has a small metal bell to get the attention of the diffident yet polite waitress. The food is humble and uncool, and we like them for it. We are reminded of the comforting free food available at Hindu temple feasts, which we admit might be a rather large adjustment for those expecting a traditional restaurant experience. Imagine instead that you’re having dinner with your host family in Tibet, and you’ll have a far nicer time.
Their non-alcoholic beverages are a blast from the past: the lassi (yogurt smoothie) tastes delightfully homemade and the masala chai at the end of the meal is thick and creamy and would keep you warm in a Himalayan winter.
More solid highlights include their vegetarian and chicken momos (small dumplings with chilli sauce). A rare treat in Bangkok, at Himalaya they have a robust wrapper, plenty of filling and a moist texture. The aloo achar, a simple, spicy potato curry, packs strong flavors, though we’re not sure why the potatoes have to be crumbled into such small pieces.
There are some fattier, central Indian dishes as well, such as the aloo tikki (pan-fried potato cutlets, B65 for three), which is huge and not too greasy and some Chinese-Indian dishes like the chilli paneer (cottage cheese cubes cooked in sweet and sour sauce), though the flavor fails to permeate the paneer, and the sauce is a tad too tart.
The roti (wheat flatbread, B30 each) is a lot bigger and thicker that we’re used to, but is just a further reminder that Himalaya should be appraised on its own terms. It’s not Indian fine dining, and it’s not a South Indian vegetarian lunch. It’s a whole other, albeit related, cuisine, one sorely lacking in town and for that alone it should be applauded.