Aldershot’s historic connection with Gurkha soldiers has led to a large Nepalese community settling in the local area.
There have always been the odd few restaurants here extolling the virtues of Nepalese cuisine, but the increasing audience has seen a rise in outlets and the growth of a more specialist approach.
The other night we visited Nanglo (46 Grosvenor Road, Aldershot). Its website had talked of a menu containing 30 dishes from Nepal, and I was interested to see what new things there might be to try.
Nanglo definitely seemed to be a local joint for the Nepalese community (we were the only non-Nepalese customers) which is often seen as a good indicator that the food will be authentic. The decor was informal with jaunty background music adding atmosphere.
I had already seen momo pictured on their site, and am very fond of these little dumplings. We ordered one plate of vegetable and one of pork, and realised we might have gone too far when each portion turned out to comprise 10 momo (there were 3 of us). They were accompanied by “achar” which was an excellent tomato chilli dip with a hearty kick.
I had opted for a Mango Lassi to drink, and it too was super-sized, coming in an immense glass. The others (H and a friend of ours, Jack) had Nepali Tea, which was fragrant with cardamom.
So far, so good, but we were a bit caught out on the mains. H had a Nanglo Set, with Chicken Pangra Sekuwa, rice and mixed dal. Our friend had the same but with mutton, and I had gone for the Nanglo Thali (pictured), which included a number of mystery (to me) items such as Aludam, Choila and Chiura.
We’d speculated that Chicken Pangra meant some kind of marinade or perhaps chicken breast, as the other chicken option referred to bone. When it arrived, it was beautifully chargrilled but oddly pink and chewy. I was certain it was cooked fine, but couldn’t understand the colour and texture. It was only when we got home and looked it up we realised it was chicken gizzards. Not a part of the chicken any of us had eaten before, and none of us will be rushing back for seconds. The mutton was apparently superior, but looked a bit tough.
Aludam turned out to be spicy potato (very good too), and Chiura is flat crisp rice (bland but pleasantly so). The Choila was a meat/veg/sauce combo – tepid, oily and incredibly spicy, with pieces of a mystery meat that some internet research suggests could be water buffalo, but this is speculation.
Prices were good (£4 for 10 momo, £6ish for mains). We’ll definitely go back but focus primarily on momos and lassis, perhaps with a side of panipuri. I’m also interested to try the Thukpa some time (a noodley soup).
Note: The photo is courtesy of our friend Jack and his phone.