Thursday, 3 December 2009

Tibetan Kitchen

During my uni years, the Tibetan Kitchen in the Valley was one of our tried and trusted dinner spots. It was BYO, the food was tasty and it was cheap - it ticked all the important boxes. There were countless nights when we'd occupy a room there from about 7pm until very late, popping out every few hours when the wine had run out for resupplies. Now that I think about it, the restaurant was probably lucky it didn't have too many tables of diners like us.

Anyway I hadn't eaten at the Tibetan Kitchen for years and there's now one at Petrie Terrace as well. We headed in to the Petrie Terrace restaurant a Saturday night for dinner.

The Tibetan Kitchen on Petrie Terrace is in a building that used to be occupied by Romeo's, one of Brisbane's iconic Italian Restaurants. Although a few Tibetan decorations have been added to the room, there's still an Italian feel to it. The food however is well and truly not Italian. Here you'll find Tibetan, sherpa and Nepalese food - with about 60 items on the menu, there's plenty to choose from.

The large menu also means it takes a while to work out what to eat. The entree section of the menu had a few standout dishes - namche ko momo (steamed Tibetan style dumpling with coriander, ginger & garlic served with homemade chutney - $6.90), sekuwa (chicken or lamb marinated in yoghurt, fresh ginger and garlic curry sauce, served with salad - $7.90) and aloo chop (potato patties with Nepalese herbs & spices, covered in chickpea batter and served with homemade chutney - $6.90). There are also a few soups on the menu, including the tempting dhaal soup of lentil, tomato, ginger, garlic, onion and vegetables with fresh coriander ($6.90).

In the end I settled on a serve of tipan tapan, partly because of the catchy name. The menu told me that tipan tapan was a traditional Nepalese snack, prepared with fried chicken or beef, potato curry, crispy rice and a spicy sauce. This turned out to be a substantial snack - there was a good amount of both the chicken and potato curry, which had been scattered with crispy rice (the crispy rice looked very similar to rice bubbles). It was tasty enough, but the real winner on the plate was the spicy sauce, which had a good, hot chilli kick to it.

We also had a serve of the aloo chop (4 pieces), which had obviously been freshly made. The potato filling had a lovely flavour to it - we could pick out fresh ginger and chilli. The round patties had been well cooked, and were matched with a spicy, peppery sauce. Again, this was a very filling starter.

There's a very wide selection when it comes to main course - chicken, lamb, beef, goat, prawns and fish all feature on the menu. The Tibetan Kitchen is also a good spot for vegetarians, with 15 non-meat options. The more interesting main courses were the shakpa (stew of lamb, potatoes, vegetables, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and dumplings cooked with fresh coriander and curry sauce - $15.90), bakra ko tihun (goat curry on the bone with pumpkin & squash) and the jhinge macha ra aduwa (prawns cooked in a lime, ginger & coconut milk curry, topped with fresh coriander - $17.90).

I ordered the khasi ko masu, described as traditional Himalayan vindaloo - pieces of lamb cooked in a Nepalese curry sauce, topped with coriander ($15.90). Expecting that this could be a pretty fiery dish, I ordered it medium. There was plenty of lamb in the curry when it arrived, and the sauce had a good chilli zing to it. I also enjoyed the fresh coriander sprinkled over the curry, but if you order this dish, you really need something else to accompany it - it was all meat and nothing else.

Luckily for me, my wife ordered the somar (tofu curry). This was a Nepalese style curry with sour cream, coconut milk, capsicum, garlic, ginger, fresh coriander and green chilli ($13.90). The somar was made with pieces of silken tofu, and it was an excellent dish. It was a beautifully fragrant curry, with lovely delicate flavours that really complemented the tofu. I quickly got a bit bored with the plate of meat before me and shifted my attention to the delicious plate of tofu.

Unfortunately the place was fairly dead the night we were there. Although we arrived at about 7pm, there was only one other table of guests in the restaurant. Only two more tables of diners came in during the night, so it would have been a very slow night for the restaurant. It's also a fairly big room, so it felt a bit deserted.

Tibetan Kitchen is both BYO (wine only) and licenced. Staff were very friendly throughout the meal, although I found it a bit odd that one of the chefs came to the table at the start of the night to take our order.

All up, the Tibetan Kitchen is a good spot for a big group dinner, where you'd get the opportunity to order a wide selection from the large menu. It's solid, reliable food, rather than anything spectacular, although both the vegetarian meals were ordered were excellent.

What does all this mean? A huge range of tasty Nepalese and Tibetan food at good prices - BYO drinks and a big table of friends to get the most from the menu.

food bling ratings
Food - Good
Service - Good
Ambience - Tibetan & Nepalese clash with the Tuscan feel
Value for Money - Great
Wine - Small selection or BYO
Vegetarian - Great

Tibetan Kitchen
216 Petrie Terrace
Brisbane 4000
P - 07 3367 0955
W -

Tibetan Kitchen (Spring Hill) on Urbanspoon


joel said...

The last time I went to the Tibetan Kitchen with a friend, in the Valley, we waited 30 min without anyone coming to take our order. So, we left. I haven't been back.

food bling, Brisbane said...

Joel you'll have to give the Petrie Terrace one a go - it seems to be much less busy than the Valley restaurant.