Header image courtesy of Deepak Bishnoi (via Shutterstock)
While we love a good plate of momos, there’s a lot more to Nepalese food than just dumplings (no matter how delicious they are). This ethnically diverse, mountainous country is flanked by India to the south and Tibet to the north. These influences are evident in the popularity of chow mein (also affectionately known as chow chow) in the everyday Nepalese diet, as well as the overlap between Northern Indian and Nepalese curries.
Nepali people have resided in Hong Kong since colonial days—when elite Gurkha soldiers were stationed here as part of the British army—so you have your pick when it comes to authentic, affordable eats. Now, you can find Nepalese restaurants dotted around the city, but the best ones are concentrated around Jordan—where there is a significant Nepali community—and Soho.
Between the tropical décor and substantial pizzas and pastas, this colourful Temple Street spot may seem like a casual theme bar at first, but it’s so much more. The Jungle, which was opened by three F&B veterans (all of whom are Potato Head alumni), is a marriage of craft cocktails and authentic, home-style Nepalese cuisine.
Beyond crowd-pleasing street eats like momos and pani puri, The Jungle also serves traditional Newa dishes. Try the haku choila ($98)—a Newari dish of spiced chicken or buffalo meat—if you can take the heat, or the sargemba ($98), a homemade blood sausage encased in pork intestine, if you’re a fan of black pudding and Cantonese blood curd (豬紅; zyu1 hung4).
You can also get a taste of festive Nepali food at The Jungle during the holidays, with a recent menu for Dashain (a major 15-day festival) featuring traditional dishes like sel roti (a sweet rice-flour doughnut), chiura (crunchy rice flakes), and buffalo meat.
The Jungle, Shop 3, Po Fat Building, 273–275 Temple Street, Jordan | (+852) 2602 3636
Unlike The Jungle, it’s immediately evident—from the name, tagline, and Himalayan logo—which country’s food this restaurant serves. Nepal Restaurant has been serving a wide variety of traditional Nepalese dishes in Soho since 1995, but unlike some of its neighbours, Nepal isn’t flashy or high-concept.
The dishes here aren’t anything new—in fact, the restaurant serves what it calls “royal Nepalese cuisine,” which is informed by the regional delicacies served to royal guests during the Kingdom of Nepal’s 240-year existence. Signatures include the haas-ko chhoila ($118), a warm fillet of duck flambéed with fenugreek seeds, and the royal kukhura ($148), a rich and nourishing chicken dish cooked in almond-based gravy, but there are plenty of red meat, seafood, and vegan or vegetarian options, too. For something zingy and refreshing, try the bhogate sadeko ($72), a pomelo salad seasoned with chilli, yoghurt, and spices.
Nepal Restaurant, 14 Staunton Street, Central | (+852) 2869 6212
It’s easy to miss this humble Indian-Nepalese curry house on Temple Street, but trust us—you’ll want to go in. The food is unfussy, canteen-style fare; beyond popular Indian curries like butter chicken ($98), palak paneer ($82), and lamb madras ($95), you’ll also find Nepalese comfort foods like momo soup noodles ($70) and gundruk ko jhol ($68), a traditional soup made from fermented leafy vegetables. Alternatively, you could go for any of the well-priced set meals, such as the Nepalese thali set (starting at $80), which will get you a black lentil dal, sautéed choi sum, achar (pickles), salad, your choice of thali, and bread or rice.
Manakamana Nepali Restaurant, 107 Temple Street, Jordan | (+852) 2385 8293
With its emphasis on vegetables, pulses, grains, and herbs, Himalaya is one of the more health-conscious eateries on this list, serving up a balanced, light menu of Indian and Nepalese dishes. There’s a focus on grilled and roasted foods here—specifically sekuwa skewers, which are roasted in a wood fire, and tandoori barbeque. For a taste of classic Nepalese street food, try the chicken sekuwa ($82) and chana aloo chatpate ($53), a moreish dish of tamarind-flavoured chickpeas and potatoes.
Himalaya, 22–31 Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai | (+852) 2527 5899
For quick and easy Nepalese street eats, pop into this Jordan snack shop, which serves classics like pani puri ($30), dahi puri ($35), and gulab jamun ($10) in bite-sized portions for bite-sized prices. For something a little more substantial, get the c. momo ($58), which comes as a sharing plate of steamed chicken momos covered in spicy sauce and herbs.
Street Fast Food Jordan, Shop E, 53 Woosung Street, Jordan | (+852) 2885 0123
Want to line your stomach before a big night in Soho? Head to Guru—this restaurant is operated by the same team as Himalaya, so you can expect the same good food, solid service, and casual ambience. It’s less of a sit-down affair than Nepal, so you can be more efficient with both your time and your money. We’re fond of the sandeko masu lamb ($75), a spicy and tender lamb dish native to the Kathmandu Valley.
Guru, 17 Elgin Street, Central | (+852) 2547 9998