The Sherpa Kitchen,
is a real find - Esher residents
will kill me!
almost reluctant to give away
the secret of this neighbourhood
restaurant - it's already packed
at the weekends and busy enough
in mid-week as well. But they
deserve a pat on the back for
doing a really brilliant job.
From the street the place looks
tiny, but as if by magic it opens
out into three floors (if you
count a mezzanine). The decor
is sharp and minimalist, featuring
beautiful Nepalese bric-a-brac
which all looks very stylish.
The tables are decked with spotless
napery and the glasses are a
special delight to those for
whom wine matters.
you would expect from a nation
that produced the famous Himalayan
guides and porters, as well as
some of the bravest soldiers,
(the Gurkhas), service is their
speciality. The waiters are dressed
for a top Parisian brasserie,
and their attention to detail is
matched by their easy charm and
have been along three or four
times, and it's been a real delight
exploring different tracks down
the menu each time. The starters
are plated up in the latest modern
European style, the presentation
is imaginative and clear cut,
and the flavours are well defined
and carefully balanced. The chicken
livers in a little pastry coracle
is delicious, and last time I
loved the delicately spiced pork
dumplings and the stuffed baby
aubergines. Starters go from £2.95
to £3.95 (no, really!).
have their version of a tandoori
oven, called a Chuli, but the
difference is, that with a tandoori
everything seems to come out
tasting of Masala. Here each
chuli dish retains its own character.
The mullet (£7.00) is moist and
charred just enough, and all
the fish we've had has been excellent.
Forget prawn biriyani, prawn
madras, prawn this and prawn
that, here these is salmon, monkfish,
tiger prawn, squid - you name
main course prices in the range £5.50
to £10.50. you can afford to
splash out on a some of the vegetable
dishes: what about steamed pumpkin
cooked in carom seeds? It's fabulous!
And don't miss out the breads
- especially the Gulyo Roti,
which is the best "peshwari
naan" I've ever had.
Desserts are a bit lacking, but
the fresh fruit selection is
excellent and it's probably a
lot more authentic a way to end
a Nepalese meal. We usually
come out having spent around £25 a head including the very good house wine.
Oh, and there's a car park opposite!
Clifford Mould February 2004
Sherpa Kitchen, 132 High Street,
Esher Surry KT10 9QJ
Online Highly Recommended