Nepalese dishes highlight the menu of this spot close to MacEwan's campus
By Steven Sandor | March 29, 2022
Three flags hang from the wall at Spice Kitchen and Bar, located in the old Cibo space in Oliver Village, a stone’s throw from the MacEwan campus. A Nepalese flag is flanked by Indian and Canadian colours. And, while this new-ish restaurant (open for five months) offers western breakfast specials and some classic Indian dishes, we’re here to focus on the Nepalese fare.
The owners of the restaurant have Nepalese roots, and our host explains to us that the food of the Himalayas takes cues from both Indian and Chinese influences. So, the momos (dumplings) that start our meal feature an earthy combination of Indian spices and vegetable filling, wrapped in a steamed dumpling that is familiar from any dim sum experience. They are like little pillows packed with flavour, and two choices of dipping sauces, garlic and tomato (with plenty of pepper punch) just add an extra layer if there wasn’t already enough happening with your taste buds.
Now, let’s move to mains — and the absolute highlight of our lunch. That’s the Himali Chicken. At first glance, you’d see chicken swimming in an auburn-coloured sauce and think the most basic of all Indian dishes — butter chicken. But these tender bits are swimming in a sauce that is more herbal, with a real shot of nuttiness from almond powder, which is a star ingredient. With big chunks of green pepper and generous amounts of cilantro, this just goes so well with a rice biryani and some roti and fresh raita on the side.
With generous portions, these are dishes that beg to be shared.