Yesterday, the neverending love for Indian/Nepalese food was ignited again by an incredible meal at a tiny restaurant called Manakamana on the busy Temple Street in Hong Kong (hard to find because it is back in behind the stalls selling tourist trinkets that line the streets). I usually get my Indian fix (read, Dosa) at Woodlands in Tsim Sha Tsui, but now Manakamana has officially become another mecca for Indian food to me. Of course, one can always have 2 meccas, especially when one specializes in South Indian food (Woodlands), and the other abundant in Northern fare and Himalayan delicacies.
We started our meal with the South Asian classic, samosa. Who ever goes to a North Indian resto without ordering a plate of those deep fried, savory, and deeply delicious pastries? Samosa is among the few vegetarian dishes that both the bf and I (hardcore carnivores) are willing to eat for the rest of our lives. They are just that good. Our vegetable samosa (30HKD for 3 pieces, with green peas, potatoes, turmeric, and coriander seeds as filling) served with mint chutney started our meal in such a delightful note.
Ridiculously yummy I tell you. The peas & potatoes blended together beautifully, with the coriander seeds giving the mix such a sensory depth. Each pastry was fried perfectly, crunchy outside yet not at all greasy. Usually samosas are served with at least 2 kinds of chutney, one mild and another spicy, but the mint chutney they gave was enough to cover both. It was deeply soothing and refreshing. I have tried quite a few kinds of chutney in my life, but this definitely tops my list.
Can you see the coriander seeds? They were something I don’t often see in samosa in Korea:
The samosa indeed had set a very high bar for our upcoming dishes, but none disappointed! Next came our fried momo, aka. Nepalese dumpling (40HKD/10 pieces, with chicken). Dumplings are always good, but deep fried dumplings? Even better.
These cute looking (with cute name!) babies were tongue-swallowingly tasty. The dough was even thinner and crispier than the finest fried wonton, and the filling simply burst with flavors. For a deep fried pastry, this stuff tasted surprisingly light. Bright even, especially with a refreshing kick from the cilantro. You could choose to pair these momo with this spicy chutney (which, let me tell you, was also bloody good), but I simply ate them on their own. All the flavors were perfectly balanced. Impeccable.
The rice dish, Mutton Biryani (52 HKD), was my personal favorite. I appreciate the fact that Basmati rice was used for an authentic experience. Lots of spices were used, creating a grand symphony of flavors. I could detect turmeric, coriander seeds, cilantro, clove, and cardamom, which happen to be among my favorite spices in the world ;^;
The rice was cooked to perfect tenderness and golden goodness. And did I mention the mutton? Holy moly mother father uncle of god, each and every mutton piece was senselessly succulent and luscious. Ultimately exemplarily delicious.
I also loved our Tandoori chicken. Super moist and flavorful, and smelt terribly good ;^; Though it was the bf’s favorite, along with the Momo, I personally wished that our tandoori had tasted a little less mild, especically after the two explosive Momo & Biryani. More cumin & coriander would be most welcomed.
The Coconut lassi (20 HKD) also deserved a honorable mention. A wonderful combination between the sour & fresh lassi with the creamy & rich coconut flavor.
The bf also ordered 2 kinds of Nepalese beer (20HKD each)…
Manakamana, 165 Temple Street Jordan, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon (walking distance from either Yau Ma Tei or Jordan MTR stations.)