Header image courtesy of Funky Monkey (via Facebook)
Originally published by Annette Chan. Last updated by Jianne Soriano.
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 ($88) and pani puri ($68), The Jungle also serves traditional Newa dishes. Go for 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 sekuwa (starting from $112), a barbecued boneless duck marinated with fresh light herbs and spices, and the royal kukhura ($153), 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 lamb boti kebab ($125), palak paneer ($82), and lamb madras ($95), you’ll also find Nepalese comfort foods like steamed momo ($55) and gundruk ko jhol ($68), a traditional soup made from fermented leafy vegetables. Alternatively, go for any of the well-priced set meals, such as the Nepalese thali set (starting from $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 ($89) and chana aloo chatpate ($55), a moreish dish of tamarind-flavoured chickpeas and potatoes.
Himalaya, 22–31 Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai | (+852) 2527 5899
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
For an ambience that’s more lively and energetic, head over to Funky Monkey. The bar and restaurant is the brainchild of bartender Gurung “Dipen” Dammarsing, who has numerous cocktail awards under his belt as well as 15 years of experience in the F&B industry.
While crowds head to Funky Monkey for its unique cocktails like the Monkey King ($69), made of wasabi vodka, and Senorita ($69), which has jalapeño- and paprika-infused tequila, the food is also lip-smacking. The momo platter ($108) is a must-try, mixing chicken and pork dumplings. The oven-baked chicken lollipop ($78) goes perfectly with any of the in-house cocktails. Occasionally, Funky Monkey hosts various events and happenings, such as Bollywood or Reggae Night, so you can have a night of live music and fun, too.
Well-loved by residents in Jordan, Ex-Gorkha has garnered praise for its friendly staff, affordable price, and great food offering. It serves as a chill hangout spot to enjoy a nice day out with friends or family. The restaurant’s name refers to the Gurkhas (or Gorkhas) who are soldiers native to the Indian subcontinent, mostly residing within Nepal and northeast India. A majority of the Nepali residing in Hong Kong are descendants of Gurkha soldiers.
When it comes to the food, expect to find classic Nepali dishes, such as the momos (starting from $50), which you can get either steamed, fried, or mixed with chilli. The pork bhutuwa ($65), a traditional stir-fried dish, and the pangra ($60), which is made of chicken gizzard with onion, tomatoes, and spices, are also worth a try.
Ex-Gorkha Restaurant & Bar, Shop 5, G/F, King’s Court, 65–75 Wai Ching Street, Jordan