I was excited to hear that the delicious momo I seem to crave on chilly Saturday mornings from the Mill City farmers market would be served at the new restaurant, Gorkha Palace. Gorkha features Indian, Nepali and Tibetan cuisine in the old Mairin's Table location, a cozy location just around the corner from other well known East Hennepin eateries. What separates Gorkha from the other restaurants nearby is its call for authentic and simply prepared dishes with, as their website states, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.
Being the prepared diners that we are, we immediately placed an order for a half plate of momo, asking if we could split the six pieces between the yak and veggie options. They gladly accommodated, even asking if we wanted it split down the middle, or if we wanted more of one over another. We opted for three of each before perusing the rest of the menu. We decided to try out their house-made pappadum, which they kindly accompanied with a chickpea salad (on the house), which provided a fresh and tangy pairing when eaten with the crisp lentil wafer.
After we polished off our pappadum, we were presented with our momo, between with the veggie and yak were distinguishable by the shape of the dumpling: veggie was in the more traditional potsicker crescent with the yak being shaped in a bun like fashion. We both agreed we enjoyed the yak over the veggie, being flavored with a sweet cinnamon spiciness. The tomato chutney is a must add for me when it comes to the dumplings, adding additional flavor and more moisture to each bite.
Much to my husband chagrin, I ordered my usual when it comes to Indian fare: Palak Paneer. How can you go wrong with creamy spicy spinach and cheese? This dish proved to be a great decision, which I ordered at medium plus, the suggested spiciness from our server who warned that mild was considered spicy by Minnesota terms. It left just enough spice to make my nose run by the end of our meal, and this palak paneer was the most reminiscent to the homemade batch I tried out last year: spicy, savory and not easily confused with creamed spinach plus squeaky fresh cheese.
Kyle opted for the lamb curry, which proved to be a delicious and savory stew of lamb, veggies and spice, which I have a feeling I'll be craving in the upcoming winter months.
The only let down of our visit was our garlic naan. It had the scent of heaven when it was delivered to our table, but the flavor didn't stand up to the scent. The bubbles of dough that were deeply brown were scorched, and the bread left me wanting to flavor it with salt. It seems like a simple fix that hopefully the restaurant will recognize before our next trip... we'll definitely be back.