A new restaurant has recently opened featuring Himalayan cuisine, which sent the Safersteins to Edgewater. We do not know of any other restaurant serving this food in New Jersey, although we did learn that there are Himalayan Restaurants in Jackson Heights, New York. One even serves yak.
The name also intrigued us, as our yoga classes begin and end with the greeting Namaste, whose one meaning is “the light in me honors the light in you.” It is often used as a greeting by Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, and other religions as a gesture of honoring the sacredness and equality in all of us.
The owner of Namaste, Deepek, was born in Nepal, lived in India and Alaska, where he had a Himalayan restaurant. He has experienced two very stressful events: he was working 9/11 on the ground floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center and was in Nepal when his village was the epicenter of an earthquake that killed over 8,000 people and injured more than 21,000. We are thrilled that he found his way to Edgewater and welcome him, his family and his restaurant to New Jersey.
The menu does contain many Indian dishes such as pakora, lamb kormas, vindaloo and tandoor dishes. Our knowledgeable waiter not only helped us pick out the dishes from Nepal, but also gave us a fascinating geography lesson about the countries in that area.
Mint and tamarind sauces accompanied papadum, a thin Indian cracker, which was placed on the table when we were seated. We also ordered onion kulcha to come with our entrée.
We started with Momo, steamed dumpling filled with juicy chicken, a popular fast food in Nepal. The dumpling is made in house and is pinched together to resemble a fan. It was accompanied by a spicy dipping sauce. Another Nepali dish was Churpi Subzee, which contained carrots and potatoes with a smooth sauce made with cottage cheese and a bit of American cheese. Turmeric gave it a yellow color while cardamom and ginger paste added layers of flavor. A side of basmati rice was strewn with peas and cubes of carrots. Choyla lamb, a classic Nepali dish, contained lamb marinated with a myriad of spices and served in a tomato-based sauce. It was mouthwatering with a slight kick.
Carrots found their way into the dessert of gajar halwa, a sweet, and buttery carrot pudding made from fresh carrots that are cooked until they are soft and have pureed texture.
Nepal has a population from many different backgrounds and ethnicities, and all of these influences are reflected in the cuisine. “Namaskar” (the proper form of greeting in Hindu), to Namaste.
Open daily from noon. Lunch buffet from noon to 3 PM.
Churpi Subzee, Basmati Rice and Choyla Lamb.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
1086 River Road
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