Nepali Times
New dish



New Dish (ND) has been around for almost 25 years. In all this time, it has never advertised or organised events to promote itself. The restaurant has the most basic décor and doesn't pamper its customers. ND serves no tea or coffee. Lingering about is frowned upon and if you question the time it takes for the food to arrive or speak to the waiters rudely, you are asked to leave. Also, there are only 14 tables and there is always a rush. You either have to share the table with other hungry souls, not the most conducive environment to have a heart to heart, as there are people waiting outside, peering in through the door, reminding you that the least you could do is gobble up your food and leave so that they can come in and do the same. You go to New Dish to eat, eat good food quickly and leave.

The food is basic, nothing to excite or confuse a repressed taste bud with flavours novel or bold. But it is good food. The menu now lists just about twenty items after its latest culling that has done away with favourites like the mixed grill sizzler and various Chinese curries.

This is not a place you walk into expecting to be surprised but a place you know will provide comfort and succour in its constancy. The menu clearly displays this ethos. It's got soup, momos, fried rice, noodles, a few well-loved Nepali snacks and not much else.

Momos are what New Dish is famous for and the only options available are - steamed pork momos or fried pork momos. Anything else is considered sacrilegious. And what momos they are. Thin translucent skins encase a masala-free mixture of the aforementioned meat with finely diced onions and a hint of ginger. In its fried avatar, they are crisp on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside. Both come accompanied by a runny chilly sauce and what is described as clear soup but in truth is the stock garnished with shallots.

The spring rolls here are quite wonderful though they are quintessentially New Dish's own. Bits of steamed meat are rolled in a thin omelette which is then folded into a flour wrapper, generously coated in bread crumbs and deeply fried. It is a wonderful mixture of flavours and textures and a favourite for all age groups.

The Chili Chicken was a pleasant surprise, being completely ketchup free, with the outsides slightly charred and packing a punch of flavours. The noodles in the Mixed Chop Suey were delightfully crisp and there was an entire nest of it. However, the sauce was thin, drizzly and destroyed by too much soya sauce, a pity really because the vegetables and meat were delectable.

This completely family run business is confident about the quality of the food they serve and this allows them to be almost blasé about everything else. The waiters could be more efficient and they could do hire a few more. The toilet, for that is what it is, not a 'restroom', needs to be cleaner. But why do I complain for I know the next time I am in New Road and am looking to grab a bite, I will in all likelihood head to New Dish. For the food is fuss free, unsophisticated, straightforward and yet good, filling and satisfying. Plus it is excellent value for money, the entire meal, accompanied by cold drinks, cost me less than a 1000 rupees.

In New Road, enter the road leading to Khichapokhari and look out for a little Shiva Linga. In front of it is a little dark entrance, the shops surrounding it sell musical instruments and cheap lingerie. Enter, walk up the flight of stairs and you are there.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)