We had looked forward to visiting this Nepalese restaurant for sometime and online looking was easy. We’d used the website to pick what we wanted to eat.
The Journal has previously given the place five stars, so we couldn’t wait...but slide your eyes down and right and you’ll find I’ve sliced off a star this time, which shows that we only ever judge an eatery on our own experience when we eat there. On this visit, a number of small things added up to the conclusion it wasn’t an absolutely top-notch experience.
The welcome at the Westgate restaurant was the warmest I’ve had in years, the place is modern and classy with white linen table cloths and the service swift...a bit too swift, in my opinion on this occasion, because I suspect with the place being full, they wanted a quick turnover as the table could take four and we were a pair.
First of the small issues (I’ll not list them all) was getting some water. I asked for some and the waiter poured some into the egg cup--sized glass and retreated. I called him back and asked him to leave the jug. Then my wife noticed there was neither ice or lemon, so I had to request them. I really do think they should have been there from the start or at least been offered.
After the excellent poppadoms and sauces (mango chutney particularly good), my guest went for the £6.95 Everest special fish parcel starter, which looked artfully neat on the white plate. But he was disappointed the monkfish, salmon, cod and shrimps wrapped in the filo pastry where all minced up together, so you could not distinguish the salmon and we didn’t see any shrimp. It didn’t say the fish was minced on the menu, so we asked why and was told: “That’s the way we do it.” OK, but why not say on the menu that the fish is minced?
Having said that, it was tasty, as was my Momo - steamed lamb dumpling with a smear of tomato chutney - which is worth waiting for. Both starters were presented brilliantly, a real treat for the eyes.
Just as the waiter was clearing our plates, the main courses were slid in front of us. See what I mean by swift?
I had the £8.95 chicken chilli masala which had Nepalese sauces and a creamy sauce. Plain rice was £2.95 extra. It was a lovely dish - a cut above your usual Indian restaurant fayre (lots of which is available at this restaurant).
But again, there was an issue with my companion’s meal. He’d gone for the chef’s signature dish of Everest lamb shank, was was coated in Nepalese sauce and cooked with potatoes, carrots and celery. On the website it is pictured with rice and on the website menu is says it comes with rice. But, after asking, we were told that “Was how it was served in London” so we had to spend another £2.95 on top of the £12.95 for the dish (the Grantham version has slices of mini onion kulcha, a type of flatbread) and not rice.
Portions were good, especially the lamb shank, which was enormous and had plenty of meat, though not all of it was hot. The chicken was good and both our sauces were rich, thick and tomato-ey, mine was fairly hot, as described, with extra green chillies..
Neither of us had room for a dessert.
The bill came to £56 which is good value for this quality of food and it included a £14,95 bottle of wine.
All in all, a very good restaurant, but, as stated earlier, a couple of issues affected our enjoyment and have to be reflected in the verdict.
**** (out of five)