Tucked away in the centre of the busy streets of Amsterdam is this amazing hidden gem called Bhatti Pasal. As an Indian from Kolkata (East of India) which shares fairly close/undefined borders with Nepal, I have had the experience of growing up with Nepali food. The biggest fascination growing up was Momo with Chutney, which since ages has been sold on the streets of Kolkata with a spicy tomato chutney and a clear veg/chicken soup. Every visit to India in the last 2 years meant eating more and more Momos to fill my heart with no more cravings till I visited Kolkata again. But no more cravings any more, as I found this authentic Nepalese restaurant right here in Amsterdam!
From the busy, crowded shopping district of Amsterdam Kalverstraat is this stand alone, cosy, boutique restaurant. Bhatti Pasal gets filled with full capacity within 30 minutes of their opening timing, which mean booking in advance before you go on your shopping spree, would be a great idea. I visited here at 18:00 hrs and still had to wait for 10 mins to get a table for two. So now you know how good the food is, right? Now moving to food and food coma that I was in.
The green painted walls have some seriously great portraits from Nepal taking you back to the country. Also if you have never been to Nepal, you HAVE TO! It is heaven on earth, surrounded by Himalayas and greenery all around. A few months back I visited Blue Poppy in Kolkata for some seriously great Nepalese, Sikkimese and Tibetan food. Both these places have that same warm, hearty feeling, I guess it has to do with the food that they serve.
The restaurant has an open kitchen where is food is made fresh right in front of you and its made from scratch. The amazing momos are made and assembled at the basement by a special task force team (haha!) but all the magic mostly happens right in front of your eyes.
If you are not sure what to eat or maybe you are not familiar with the cuisine yet, you have your solution on their specials board announcement with their Wi-Fi password being ‘Best momo’ (And I agree!)
And if you are still not sure what everything means you have two options:
Option 1: Check the super illustrative menu
Option 2: Talk to the team there, you will only see smiley faces around. The picture below is of Bhatti Pasal, the ever smiley owner himself.
Chai or Chiya? What’s in a name?
Chiya is the Nepalese version of Masala Chai and definitely worth going for. It is black tea simmered in spices like cardamom, ginger and boiled with water and milk.
Momos are the Nepali sibling of Gyoza from Japan, Dumpling from China or Pelmini in Russia. But what makes momos interesting is the dipping sauce served along with. You can choose the tomato-mint chutney or the Jhol Achar (sesame sauce). I went for both. #YOLO
You can try steamed or fried momo with different fillings like vegetable, chicken or pork. The one above has chicken filling curved into a dough made of white flour and steamed to get the perfect flavor.
Their main Thali – combination of dishes served on a plate are vegetarian thali and Khaja Set. I went for the Khaja set which came with quite a lot of food.
What took me by surprise was the carb served – flattened or beaten rice (also called chide/poha in Indian languages). I was expecting steamed rice but this really was a great combination with everything else served (from L to R – Aloo ka achar (potatoes cooked in sesame paste), tomato and mint chutney/sauce, Chicken bhutun (pan fried organs of the chicken), Badam sadeko (spiced fresh peanuts salad) and Pork Choila. All of this was served with Furandana (beaten rice) which was roasted, making it super crunchy. Reminded me of my maa giving us this after school with some biscuits or fried fritters as kids (called Chide badam bhaja in Bengali).
Enough said, I think you have to visit this place before or after visiting Nepal. Also if you don’t have plans to visit Nepal just visit here for their food (especially their momo).
I am coming back for more momos very soon.
Till we meet again.
1012 XK Amsterdam
020 623 1180
*Mondays closed & Meat served is Halal