The Gurkha’s Diner – excitingly different Nepalese food in Balham


A former Head Chef of Bombay Bicycle Club Balham in the nineties, Krishna Shah – who has a reputation for creating fine quality and diverse Nepalese and Indian cuisine – opened The Gurkha’s Diner in Balham in 2003.

Tonight was my first visit and given how busy other pubs and eating places were on Balham High Road, it was surprisingly quiet.

For us, that wasn’t a problem: we received attentive service and fine quality and excitingly different food and drinks.

Gurkhas diner – surprisingly quiet on a Thursday eve

To drink I had Gurkha beer (dry, slightly malty lager – a nice change) and we shared a few appetisers between six of us:

~ tareko squid @ £3.90
~ dayalu – potato pate made with lentils, spinach + herbs, served with sesame pickle @ £3.75
~ momoch – steamed dumplings (dim sum style) filled with tender lamb + herbs, served with achaar @ £3.90
~ saffron chamri – roasted cheese, saffron flavour @ £3.90
~ bhate prawn – chuli-cooked (ie. cooked over charcoal) prawns on sticky rice, with lime + soy sauce + sesame seeds @ £4.75
~ courgette @ £3.90

Tareko squid, saffron chamri (roast cheese) + courgette

Most of these starters were new to me, certainly different from the ones you see on Indian menus. They were all cooked and served to perfection and even though the squid was my choice, the ones I’d choose again would be (in order of preference) momoch (stunning lamb flavours and quite light too), saffron chamri and dayalu.

Just sharing a variety of appetisers (meze or tapas style) would make for a really enjoyable meal, without even venturing to the main dishes.

That said, the main courses were equally good. Two of us shared rice, a Nepali bread (wholewheat, freshly baked in a clay oven – really soft and light) and three veggie (side) dishes.

Vegetable dishes:
~ dhahi bhanta (aubergine with a good spicy kick) @ £4.25
~ lukla simi (mixed beans + peas) @ £4.75
~ pasa chamri (cheese with peas + onion) @ £4.50

The dishes served here are really great quality and varied. Including a couple of beers each and the tip, the total bill came to £144 for six (£24 each) – unbelievable value.

I’m already looking forward to my next visit and exploring more of the menu.

*UPDATE 2012*
Consider more of the menu explored. Many times.
Nepalese beers

Salmon munillo maccha @ £10.25

Chuli gurkhali chicken – cooked in tandoor

Spinach chicken

dessert menu

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
~ Type: Nepalese
~ Address: 1 The Boulevard, Balham High Road, London
~ Postcode: SW17 7BW
~ Tel: 020 8675 1188
~ Nearest station: Balham
~ Website: Gurkhas diner website
~ Location: Gurkhas diner Balham map

Gurkhas Diner on Urbanspoon

Square Meal


3 Responses

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