The following is a regular review column by â€˜The Viand Pundit,â€™ our anonymous restaurant critic:
The Viand Pundit Reviews Royal Everest
A Napalese and Indian restaurant has opened in Burien and the wonderful scent that sent my taste buds into action had caught me by surprise as I was passing by. Located in the spot where CC’s, Kayak, Dan Thai and others have ended, Royal Everest might just be the interesting twist that makes it happen. Owner and Executive Chef Sohan Malla was very busy running the kitchen while Host and Server Jay Sanjok warmly greeted us and led us to our table. The transformation inside has been renovated with a pleasant touch to color, space and ambiance. Floral portraits adorn the walls cheery rose and orange colors and scenes of Nepal grace the main area. The busy kitchen was clean appearing and well organized. The restrooms were proper and spacious. Booth seating and tables were available. A little history before we continue because the Nepalese consider that food and eating are all divine and food should be eaten in a joyful manner
Though very little is known about the early history of Nepal, legends and references reach back to the first millennium BCE. Although, Neolithic tools and evidence of settlements found in the Kathmandu Valley in present day Sikkim and Nepal indicate that people have been living in the region for at least 40,000 years.
The history of Nepal has been influenced by its position in the Himalaya and its two neighbors, modern day India and Tibet. It is a multiethnic, multiracial, multicultural, multireligious, and multilingual country which provides for one of the most interesting cuisines in the region. Nepal had experienced almost a constant struggle for democracy, but the country’s cultural and geographic diversity provides ample space for a variety of cuisines based on ethnicity and on soil and climate.
The main staple diet of most Nepali people is Dal Bhat and Tarkari which translates to “lentil, rice, vegetable curry,” but it is a foundation of the Nepalese cuisine. So today, I sampled the Daily Lunch Buffet which was only a mere $9.95 The buffet line started with long, slender-grained aromatic Basmati rice, along with a plethora of variety of mostly chicken dishes and some vegetable dishes as well. The Chicken Tandoori and a Masala Chicken Curry became fast favorites and the Potato Okra was also amazing.
One of the breads called Naan was pita like but softer and a wonderfully perfect match for the meal. Sides of a Mango Chutney and the Mint Chutney were welcome diversions to thrill about. A sweet desert like rice pudding called Kheer was the perfect finish although there was competition with the sweet Gulab Jamun, a golden brown special milk ball similar only in looks to a doughnut hole. When dining here, it is helpful to remember that the most common custom in Nepal is jutho, which requires people not to touch othersâ€™ food and drink with either their hands or their spoon, so sharing is a cultural no-no.
There were some items I was uncomfortable with. The Menu printed on paper had text so small I had difficulty reading it. Perhaps this is just the To Go menu? The menu contained so many choices that I also found it difficult to decide what I wanted as I am unfamiliar with many of the dishes’ names. Thankfully each has a description of the dish in detail, which is nice. I just found it took awhile to orient myself to the One Hundred and Eleven (111) items on the menu. Parking is still free and available on Burien’s main drag. They offer a delivery service if you wish to dine in the luxury of your own home as well.