In recent years, the Queens neighborhood of Jackson Heights has seen an influx of immigrants from the Himalayas. And among the many restaurants reflecting this demographic shift, Mustang Thakali Kitchen stands out. The eatery is named for an area of northern Nepal with heavy Tibetan influences, and that blend of cultures is evident in the food. Samosa chat, a deconstructed potato samosa topped with mint and tamarind chutneys, presents both crisp and creamy textures; momos, a Tibetan snack, are like soup dumplings with thicker skins — go for the chicken, and dunk it in the accompanying sauces. For a main course, thalis provide an excellent cross-section of Nepalese bites. The autumnal farsee includes tender chunks of goat in a rich pumpkin curry, alongside pleasantly bitter mustard greens, pickles, curried potatoes, a savory green dal, and rice. As you eat, you’re watched over by a photo of the Dalai Lama, not to mention attentive service — for those unfamiliar with Himalayan cuisine, it’s a warm introduction.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 15, 2014