Food Review: Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen (Vancouver West End)
(Originally posted on my food review site, “Let’s Eat Out Once a Week.”)
I’ve worked in several industries before, and have come across many different co-workers. One whom I’ve always respected is Valerie, someone I worked with several years back when I was her supervisor. Because we’d both moved on from that particular organization, we’d mainly kept in touch just online until recently, when we agreed to meet up once in a while as foodie buddies.
And one Saturday evening recently, Valerie and I checked out Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen on Davie Street in downtown Vancouver. Neither of us had been to Gurkha, which, according to Valerie, has been around for about two years. You can’t actually look into the restaurant when passing by to see what it’s about because it’s not on ground level and you have to walk up a flight of stairs to get to it!
It was just after 5:00 p.m. – Gurkha is open noon to 2:00 and then 5:00 to 10:00 – so it wasn’t busy yet. We were seated right away and provided with a glass of water each. The setting was nice; it was dimly-lit but bright enough to see the menu and each other. There was a candle on our table too, which is standard for restaurants. After going through the menu for a few moments, Valerie and I decided to order four appetizers to share. We chose the Taas (lamb sautéed in peppers, onions, and spices), the Lollypop Chicken, the Piro Shrimp, and Haku Momo (Tibetan-style steamed veggie dumplings). We were asked how spicy we wanted the food, and we went with “medium.”
During the wait, Valerie and I resumed our conversation. Because Gurkha is a small and cozy place, the table in front of us could probably hear what we were saying, but it was all good. It’s always fun talking to her and I was very happy to hear she’s in a wonderful career right now. These are the types of conversations I enjoy the most because we don’t engage in gossip and she talks about interesting topics (unlike certain other co-workers I’ve worked with, who know nothing except gossip and complaining and negativity). She mentioned learning something from me before that she’s applying in her current profession, which made me smile because I thought I’ve learned a lot from her too. She’s just a very upbeat, positive, and talented person that I like hanging out with. (Unfortunately, some that I’ve worked with have negative attitudes and don’t want to listen to your suggestions/feedback. Instead, they think you’re picking on them and they try to get you fired by making crazy stuff up and talking behind your back, rather than trying to communicate like responsible adults – like in a certain advertising/marketing company some time ago. But that’s another story for a different day…) And oh, we talked about how great the Eastern TV channels are and my love for The Young and the Restless. 🙂
The Taas was the first dish that was brought to our table, and it was delicious!
Some pieces of the lamb were chewy, but it was still good. I found some of the lamb being crispy too. Valerie said the rice was puffy like Rice Krispies. Incredibly, this dish was spicy too! And we’d asked for “medium,” so we were curious how spicy it would’ve been had we gone with “hot.” 🙂 Anyway, you could say the Taas was spicy crispy!
The shrimp was next, and Valerie liked it, saying it was sweet. I couldn’t disagree. It wasn’t too spicy, which was different from the lamb.
As for the Haku Momo – which are the veggie dumplings – they were another winner. They came with two authentic sauces and Valerie liked them both. I also found the dumplings to be spicy! There were five apiece for us.
And finally, the Lollypop Chicken, which were marinated with ginger garlic and spices, and then pan-fried over their special house sauce… There were six pieces, so three apiece. This dish was another winner, with Valerie commenting that it was like great finger/street food. We also thought that the spiciness level was unique for each dish, which was fantastic.
With the great food and wonderful conversation, we both agreed Gurkha was a terrific choice. By the end of our meal, the place was packed and there were people waiting to be seated. My, it’s definitely a popular place!
Valerie suggested getting soup if we were to return in the future – certainly something interesting to check out for sure.
When: Saturday, February 28, 2015
What: 4 appetizers – Taas, Piro Shrimp, Lollypop Chicken, Haku Momo
Where: Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen, 1141 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC, V6E 1N2
How Much: C$9.00, C$9.00, C$8.00, C$12.00 (C$24.00 each after taxes and tips)
Final Thoughts: Wonderful place for dinner and conversation. They do take reservations, and on weekends are open 12:00-2:00 p.m. and 5:00-10:00 p.m. From Tuesdays through Fridays, the hours are 11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and 5:00-10:00 p.m., and they’re closed on Mondays.