The chap with the shiny head

This chap sits and waits for friendly Nottingham folk to stroke him at St Pancras Station. He is the only shiny bit on the very impressive Meeting Place statue. For those who head straight for the Underground, take your time and enjoy the transformation of this wonderful station. Nottingham and Mapperley’s brick workers can be very proud.

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Traffic Alert! – Carlton Hill is Blogged

From the top of the world to the top of Carlton Hill.

As you travel away from the city, 384 Carlton Hill is on the left, in the first run of shops as the road levels out. It was known for many years as The Indian Prince, a Kashmiri restaurant and takeaway. I’m sure that many people still regard it as their local Indian takeaway. The building itself is very deceptive. It has a very narrow shop front that suggests it is just another takeaway. The building however continues through a restaurant (that seats around 40 people), to the kitchen at the back.

For the past few years it has been The Everest Bhansaghar, a Gurkha Restaurant and Takeaway. As the title states; it is a restaurant first and a takeaway second.

Many of us associate the name Gurkha (also spelt as Gorkha) with the military units in the NepaleseBritish and the Indian army. In fact they are the indigenous people (of different clans) mainly from South Asian country of Nepal.

Whilst Kashmir and Nepal are similar in that they are both in the mountainous Himalayan region, Nepalese food has subtle differences that should be tried at all costs. Nepal, being further to the east has taken some influence from South East Asia and the Buddhist culture.

Everest Restaurant

Everest Restaurant

The director of The Everest is Rana Bahadur, a very personable and proud man. He should be too. Still in his early 40’s, his family came to the UK in 2000. His two children were of primary school age and the adjustment from a rural village in western Nepal must have been difficult. Skip forward to 2014; both children are studying at degree level and he has a successful restaurant that has an increasing and loyal clientele. Rana is also actively involved in promoting the Nepalese and Gurkha culture in Nottingham. The local population may be only a few hundred but they have quickly established themselves. They recently gathered in Nottingham to celebrate their New Year. They have also been acknowledged and welcomed at a reception at County Hall.

 

So what is special about The Everest?

  •  The Welcome. The staff are very personable without being over familiar. They are relaxed, they smile, and they take time to explain the menu.
  • The Food. The food is clearly cooked with fresh ingredients. The sauces have a rich and complex flavour that can only be created by using fresh ingredients and cooked slowly. There is clearly a great deal of pride in the food which is presented very well.
  • The Menu. The menu is not only varied but also regularly updated with new dishes being added. In addition to the Nepalese dishes, it has the standard Indian dishes and  a good vegetarian option. Some of the Nepalese dishes are only available in the restaurant.
  • The Character. The restaurant is a narrow room with a convivial atmosphere. There is a display cabinet with various items of Gurkha culture. There are photographs showing the stunning landscape of Nepal. There is also a piece of amateur artwork which shows a mountain scene. It was painted by Rana’s daughter, and the scene is local to where they originate from.
Artwork Everest Restaurant

Artwork Everest Restaurant

On a personal level, I try to restrict the number of takeaway meals I have. I have a habit of eating takeaways hurriedly and untidily. The meal becomes less of an occasion and, consequently, less enjoyable. In turn, many takeaway food outlets rarely change or improve their menu. They serve the people’s favourites and little else.

When I first used The Everest in 2012, it was for a takeaway meal. It was my only takeaway from them. I have since discovered that the restaurant is a far more civilised way of enjoying and discovering Nepalese food.

When I visit, I look for something different or new to the menu. The chef may have even created something that day. I will probably try it.

My advice is to do the same. This was the last meal I had there.

For a starter, Momo. Small dumplings stuffed with minced lamb. They have the same consistency as traditional British dumplings (that we rarely see nowadays), but are made without suet.

For the main, Malekhu Ko Macha. Pan fried sea bass marinated with ginger and garlic. Served with a vegetable curry and black eye beans.

The menu offers the usual sundries. What also impressed me is how they make and serve the Nan bread. Rather than being the size of a ‘single duvet’ covering 50% of the table, these are smaller and served in four pieces.

For dessert, there are the standard ice creams and Kulfi. I have enjoyed the Nepalese Rice Pudding and, on my last visit I chose the Carrot Halwa; and yes it is carrot;  grated, sweetened and cooked. Very nice indeed!

I researched that the Nottingham Post published a Food Sleuth review in early 2013.  This article was positive and concluded that The Everest ‘deserves more support’.

Twelve months on, and they are getting more support. All this has happened by ‘word of mouth’, the most reliable of local advertising. No direct mailing or offers in the social media.

So, if this is the first you’ve heard of The Everest, you need to plan a visit. There is plenty of parking nearby which is free after 6pm.

Oh, and don’t forget to order the prosecco!

The happy team

The happy team

 

 

 

 

 

A Walk on the Wild Side

The recent death of Peaches Geldof reminded me of the night that Lou Reed’s death was announced.  I found myself reflecting on my own history and considering my future. With the sadness that Reed’s passing had generated, I hoped to find a positive topic to distract me. I came across another local blogger in Steve Oliver, and hoped that his blog would be bring me out of this malaise. Instead, his articles did the opposite, almost ‘kicking a man while he was down’.

I found articles where he describes ‘lost causes’ and apathy. Much of this seemed to stem from trying to preserve things that were (or had been) under threat in Nottingham. The three things that he mentioned were an old cinema, a pub and a water clock.  Individually, the cinema building was the least visual of any building in the city centre, the pub was one of only a handful of bars that I have never stood at, and the water clock….. well I know where it is and I know that shoppers sit around it and with their backs to it!

Perhaps my view of Nottingham is different. Maybe I accept the subtle changes too readily. Maybe I am too forward looking. Maybe I ignore the past. My malaise was in danger of worsening and I needed to release myself from it. After all, Lou Reed ‘had a good innings’. Most of his heroin addict hedonists from 1960’s New York are long gone. He survived didn’t he? He probably has grandchildren. So what of Steve Oliver? All he needs is a cause that will burst into other people’s consciousness and that will be forward looking.

This rush of optimism that I forced myself to generate, even identified to me  ‘the cause’. This is it.

The people of Nottingham should have a right of way along the banks of the River Trent from Gunthorpe to Trent Bridge.

Not too much to ask bearing in mind that the walk as far as Colwick Industrial Estate is well trodden. Unfortunately the pleasure is ended here, by the diversion into the estate. The tranquility of the river is destroyed by the stream of HGV’s. The diversion may be less than a mile but the moment is gone!

This photo courtesy of French Disko will help you visualise the scene at Colwick

Colwick Nottingham

The companies that retain access rights to the river do not benefit from such.  Many would probably consider relocating.  Surely when the factories eventually go, not even Mr Oliver would shed a tear of nostalgia.

I’m hopeful that one day this will happen. When it does, I will name this riverside route………

The Walk on the Wild Side