Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Himalayas (Cranberry Township)

Pittsburgh's first Indian-Nepalese restaurant recently opened up in Cranberry Township. Having never had Nepalese food, I was naturally curious. R. and I visited Himalayas one evening and ordered a mix of Indian and Nepalese dishes to try. Among the Indian dishes were Butter Chicken and Chicken Curry, and both were pretty good. We also tried the Samosa Chat (samosas with chick peas, yogurt dressing, and chutney), which we had assumed would be like an enclosed pastry with filling, but it turns out we were just being culturally ignorant as Samosa Chat actually consists of broken pieces of samosa mixed with the other ingredients. Despite our surprise, it was fabulous.

Samosa Chat at Himalayas
Samosa Chat

Butter Chicken at Himlayas
Butter Chicken

Personally, I was here to try the Nepalese dishes, and that turned out to be quite the highlight. I especially loved the Chilli Momo. Momo is basically a type of dumpling that is native to Nepal, and Himalayas offers several varieties of it. The Chilli Momo is steamed and sautéed with bell peppers and onions and served with a tangy dipping sauce. Growing up eating out with my dad, he always judged the quality of dumplings based on the skin, which must be thick enough to maintain its integrity (so as to not break easily), but thin enough for the flavors of the filling to shine through. According to my dad's dumpling judging criteria, these momo would have received high marks. The dish as a whole was full of great flavors melded together well.

Chilli Momo at Himalayas
Chilli Momo

I liked the momo so much that I was back for a second visit for more momo. This time I had the steamed momo with chicken, which were a bit more subtle than the chilli momo flavor-wise but were also excellent. I also tried some Nepalase Aalu Dam (diced potatoes and tomatoes sautéed with red chilies and Nepalese spices, served with flattened rice known as "chewra") which was great as well.

Chicken Momo at Himalayas
Steamed Momo with Chicken

Nepalese Aalu Dam at Himalayas
Nepalese Aalu Dam

As Himalayas is still fairly new, there may be some tweaks to the menu, and I understand that a lunch buffet is now being offered. Also, check out the restaurant's website to see if there are any current specials or coupons.

Update 3/12/2014: I did a photo shoot for Himalayas soon after this post went online. Check it out here.

Restaurant info:
Himalayas Restaurant
20445 Route 19, Cranberry Township, PA 16066
(724) 779-4454
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