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Two white plates with fish filets and dumplings in a yellow soup.
Fried fish and jhol momos.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

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Taste From Everest Is Peak Curry Hill Dining

The restaurant offers a staggering selection of dishes from Nepal, Kashmir, and India

Restaurants that serve two or more cuisines — and get them a little tangled up — are some of my favorite places. One that does this spectacularly well is Taste From Everest. Located at 102 Lexington Avenue just north of 27th Street, it identifies as a Nepali restaurant, but then goes on to also present food from far northern India — including Kashmir, a region fought over by India, Pakistan, and China. It also offers Indo-Chinese cuisine as well as the stray Mumbai chaat, Punjabi curry, and Mughal vegetarian dish. It’s one of the most varied and interesting menus in Curry Hill.

A facade of yellow, orange, and red bricks.
Taste From Everest, a Nepalese restaurant in Curry Hill.
A row of tables on the right as an owner looks on from behind a bar.
Welcome to Taste From Everest.

Taste From Everest is a project of three brothers from Lalitpur, Nepal: executive chef Gaju Chhetri, who is currently working in Australia, chef Gopal Chhetri, and front-of-the-house manager and beverage director, Krishna Chhetri. The restaurant opened in 2020 and managed to stay open during the pandemic, though for a while it was carryout only.

The front room is an informal cafe with a bar that faces the street. The walls are orange and as a reminder as to where you are, there’s a painting of hikers navigating a snowy path on the way up to Everest. In back there’s a formal dining room, where another bar is currently being installed. Décor in the back room runs to sturdy brown booths, walls of gray flagstone evoking a mountain landscape, blue geometric tiles, and statuettes of Buddha and Ganesh. The place serves halal meat.

A rectangular white plate with red sauced bone in duck parts.
The duck chili appetizer.

I was particularly attracted to the purely Nepali stuff, a zesty and highly spiced collection that seemed to ignore some of the less spicy soups and noodle dishes I’d encountered at Queens Nepali restaurants. One of the most arresting apps is called duck chili ($12). Naturally, my mind harkened back to Texas chili con carne. Well, when the menu says chili it means choila, a Nepali dish usually described as a salad. If you love duck, this is your jam: bone-in hunks bathed in a thick dark paste tasting of garlic and ginger, both flavors sharp and fresh.

Duck is apparently a common meat in Nepal, and also makes an appearance in “traditional Nepali duck curry” ($17), a mellow brown stew with a subtle spicing of bay leaves, cinnamon, and cardamom. I liked it, but not as much as the duck chili, though it could serve as a definition of mellow.

The momos here are not the huge doughy purses one finds in Jackson Heights Himalayan carts, but more-delicate dumplings something like Chinese potstickers. Momos containing mustard greens are a good chance to taste one of Nepal’s most popular vegetables, but you might pick chicken jhol momos ($13) instead, immersing them in an irresistible saffron-colored broth shot with garlic. When the dumplings are gone, treat the remainder as a soup.

Eight dumplings with orange and red sauces on the side.
Mustard-greens momos come with a pair of sauces.

The fish appetizer ($12) — cod fried in a chickpea flour batter — is so abundant that four of us shared it one evening. Served with a mint chutney, the fry-up is a pleasantly simple contrast to much of the heavily spiced menu. In Nepali, it might be made with freshwater fish from one of the home ponds Nepalis maintain.

The vast menu features over 90 dishes, many with multiple options; it should be studied as if preparing for a final exam in a difficult subject. Among the tandoori offerings, find poleko khasi. It features mutton, a lesser-seen meat in NYC restaurants. (Even Keens famed mutton chop is not really mutton, but lamb.) In contrast to the bright orange tandoori in Indian restaurants, the cutlets here are thickly coated with crumbly spices and roasted until the outside blackens, the strong flavors of the meat tempered with smoke.

Himalayan lamb hot pot ($19) is nothing like its Chinese counterpart, and there will be no dipping of delicate items into it. The thick stew is laced with tomato and incorporates lemon juice as well as fresh and dried chiles in a dense gravy. Love chicken? Don’t miss Mustang curry ($17), boneless tidbits of dark and light meat in a sauce with coarsely ground spices, including black peppercorns. Named after a state in Nepal and not a wild horse, it was one of the hotter dishes encountered at the restaurant.

A fork holds up a dark beige chicken piece cloaked in sauce.
Mustang curry is spicy as hell.
A stew of vegetables.
A typical Nepali vegetable dish of bamboo shoots, potatoes, and black-eyed peas.

Nepalis eat a large proportion of vegetables, though you wouldn’t know it from the menu at Taste From Everest. Alu bodi tama ($15) is a satisfying stew showcasing bamboo shoots, potatoes, and black-eyed peas — a pulse that lends a smoky flavor to the dish.

Taste of Everest is an adventure in South Asian eating, and one unique in the city. But like a climb up its namesake peak, you’ve got to carefully plot your course through the menu. So pop an Indian beer and sit back to study it before placing your order.

Taste From Everest

102 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016 (347) 599-8822 Visit Website
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