15 April 2012

Minneapolis: Gorkha Palace

I had these coupons.  $5 off.  Plus, Tibetan food?  I'm so there.

Gorkha Palace
23 4th St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 668-3451

Gorkha's got Tibetan, Nepali, AND Indian food, actually.  A perfect trifecta of Asian noms.  My spell check recognizes only four of the six words in the previous sentence, and I bet you can guess which ones they are.

Becca, John, Matt and I had never been here before - what an adventure!  So we ordered half the menu.  I have a blog to run, after all.

I started with a chai for two bucks.  I couldn't get the Chai Masala on the menu because it comes with cow's milk and they haven't got the non-dairy variety.  But the server, sensing my plight, kindly offered me the regular water-and-tea-bag version of olden times.  You know, before tea lattes.  It was lovely.  Tasted like my everyday Tazo chai.

We received a complementary basket of papadum (Indian chips), which were good and flavorful, especially when dipped in the vegan tamarind chutney.  That stuff was addictive - kind of spicy, kind of ketchupy.

Actually, the chutney came with our Sweet Potato Pakora, which were $5 fries.  Yum!  They weren't too mushy or too crispy, but they had a nice warm temperature and also tasted great with the tamarind stuff.  A yogurt mint chutney came with the Pakora as well - ew, is that dairy?  Vegans don't care.

As we awaited our entrees, we discussed our upcoming trip to Korea with starry-eyed enthusiasm.  Shall we go to Japan, too, since we're in the area?  Might as well!  China or Russia?  Who knows!

All the food came at once.  We stared at it while Matt took careful pictures.

Here we go!  Please keep your hands and arms inside the dinner table at all times.  In the event of an emergency, too bad.  You're eating.

First of all, our Garlic Roti at $3 was yummy.  Warm, bready, whole-wheaty, and suffused with cilantro and garlic.  A good thing to shove in your mouth when things get too spicy.
I ordered Aaloo Katahar for $10.  They ask you upon ordering a curry how spicy you'd like it - I unerringly say medium, no matter which restaurant I'm at.  Here, medium is pretty spicy!  Ha.  We'll get to Becca's in a minute.  But the Katahar had jackfruit and potatoes with a good, well-spiced, tomato-based sauce.  The Indian flavors were all there.  And jackfruit?  Seemed kind of like artichoke hearts to me.  It was soft, and because of the curry, I couldn't really taste the fruit itself.  I hear it's supposed to be kind of like a tart banana.

My overall impression of their Aaloo Katahar?  Kinda mediocre.  I enjoyed it, but it's not as good as Best of India.

Next, Becca's meal!  LOL.  You guys.  She ordered the Vegetable Thenthuk - a Tibetan noodle soup for eleven bucks - at the medium spice level.  And it blew our brains out.  It was the spiciest "medium" (those are air-quotes, in case you couldn't tell) we'd ever tasted.  So spicy that the more subtle flavors we're sure were in there somewhere went unnoticed by us.  That being said, it was delicious.  Becca slurped most of it up, and I was happy to help with a few noodles.  Those things were good: they seemed home-made and perfectly dense.  If you've ever had really good, thick udon or soba noodles, you know what I'm talking about.

Lastly, our intrepid Captain Adventure stuck with the place's specialty: Momos.  He ordered the 10-piece veggie variety for $10.  And out of our entire melange, those were my faves.  They weren't as spicy as our curries, but that doesn't mean they don't have flavor.  Those little Tibetan dumplings were bursting at the seams with taste!  The onion is surprisingly good, and the cabbage as well - it tasted kind of like some of the cabbage I've had at Fasika.  So, plus.  The orange sauce added even more loveliness.  As if they needed it.  They put the mm back in momos.

The rest of the menu, you'll be pleased to note, is very vegan-friendly.  Each little (v) denotes a vegan option, and almost half the menu is dotted with that happy little letter.

After eating, we went back to our place and watched Star Wars: Episode I with RiffTrax.

Don't do it.


  1. Update: I went back and ordered the Tofu Aaloo ($10.99) at a mild spice level, and it was fantastic. I could taste all my flavors (potato, tofu, onions, tomatoes, and peas) and it was like a comfort-stew. John ordered the same Meat Dish from last time also at a mild instead of medium level, and we agreed that mild is ALWAYS the way to go here.

    1. Yay! Thanks! I'm glad you had better luck. Let's go again and taste all the flavors!