MUSTANG THAKALI KITCHEN
74-14 37th Ave.
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
You can view the menu here.
I was out surfing Instagram one day & came across a chef’s IG photos. Of course, being the foodie that I self-proclaimed to be, I stalked all his pictures of food. I came across a photo of Nepalese food & thought it looked delectable. I’ve never tried Nepalese food so this was an adventure. I suggested to my friend to celebrate her belated bday dinner there & she being as big of a foodie as I am, we decided to embark on this food journey together.
We drove into the neighborhood. It was filled with Indian restaurants & plenty of people roaming the streets. Getting through the streets filled with people was an adventure in itself, but we found parking easily.
The restaurant has a red awning. Definitely nothing fancy, but upon inspection, we saw plenty of patrons in there. We grabbed a seat & the waiter filled our metal cups with water. It looks like all the other Indian restaurants we’ve ever been to.
A little geography lesson should be had before we talk about dinner. Nepal is located to the East of India. Directly on top of Nepal is Tibet. So Nepalese food have a lot of Indian & Tibetan influences. The restaurant mentions they serve both Nepalese & Tibetan food. The foods are very similar to Indian foods, but with slight variations. I am in no way an expert on this but I’ve tried many different types of Indian foods before so it is only from my experience.
So, back to the food, we looked online for some recommendations because we really didn’t know where to start. The names look so foreign to us & the description wasn’t really descriptive.
We over-ordered like we normally do, but it was a great opportunity to try a bunch of different dishes.
Samya Bajee (Nepali Bento Box) – Soya Beans, Beaten Rice, Marinated Chicken, Stir Fried Goat & Pickle.
The tiny brown soy beans are toasted & marinated in a mustard oil dressing. They are crunchy & surprising tasty.
The beaten rice (aka white chira) was totally unexpected. We did not know what we were in for. These grains have been soaked in hot water, toasted, & then flattened. They had the texture of tiny potato chips. We actually really liked the taste of them.
The marinated chicken & stir fried goat was tasty. What they call a pickle is actually the salad.
Beef Momo – Nepali style dumplings
These are reminiscent of the Shanghainese soup dumplings. They come in a bamboo steamer & they are shaped just the same. The beef filling was delicious, but it is exemplified more if you add any of the 3 sauces that they give you. We loved the tomato sauce & the sweet spicy sauce. There was a hot chili sauce that we didn’t try.
Goat Thali – traditional Nepali food served with rice, vegetable, lentil soup & pickle
The thali came out in a stainless-steel plate with the items neatly divided. There’s a large mound of white rice in the middle & all the elements of the dish to the side. The goat in gravy had some gaminess to it, but it was tasty enough for me to overlook. The mellow stewed mustard greens, lentil soup, cauliflower & potato curry, sour yogurt-smeared white radish, spicy tomato chutney went well with the rice.
Sukuti Sadeko – dried meat served with Nepali spices & a twist of lime
The dried meat is made from homemade lamb jerky, ripped up into shreds. The meat is fibrous in texture with a spicy sweet taste from the spices & soy sauce. This was actually our least favorite of all the dishes.
The mango lassi was standard. It helped cut down on the spice factor from some of the dishes.
We had an enjoyable dinner & would be back to try the other dishes. The staff is friendly & helpful. They let us stay & chat the night away without once telling us to leave, even though we ended up being the last patrons to leave.
However, my friend reported to me she felt gassy the next day. I, on the otherhand, did not experience that. 😉