THE HUNGRY LENS: MINNEAPOLIS EDITION - GORKHA PALACE
23 4TH ST NE, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
While I was visiting my home state of Minnesota over the summer my mother highly recommended a cool little Indian spot in the heart of downtown Minneapolis called Gorkha Palace. Gorkha Palace describes themselves as "a casual spot for Nepali, Indian & Tibetan cuisine made with local ingredients, plus exotic drinks". I knew this would be a perfect place for The Hungry Lens, especially since I have not covered this type of cuisine before.
Gorkha Palace is a relatively small restaurant and quite charming. The rich dark orange walls add an authentic Indian feel to the restaurant and the scattered paintings of Indian landscapes add great visual focal points. The entire entrance wall is made of windows and lets in great natural lighting. Overall Gorkha palace has a quaint humble feel to it.
The service at Gorkha Palace was wonderful. Our server Saurav was very knowledgeable about the menu and helped us with everything we needed. He was very polite and overall provided us with excellent service.
The menu at Gorkha Palace features traditional Indian cuisine including a vast variety of curries, dumplings known as "momo", rice dishes, and breads. They also offer several vegetarian options as well.
I decided to start off with an order of buff "momo's" or dumplings. The momo's at Gorkha Palace are describes as steamed pot stickers filled with scallions, onions, cabbage, ginger, garlic, vegetable oil & Himalayan spices. The buff momo's in particular are stuffed with grass fed bison from South Dakota. These momo's were so delicious. The rich taste of the juicy buffalo meat combined with sharp distinct flavors of ginger, garlic, and onion all wrapped in an extremely tender dough made for a delicious dumpling.
Gorkha Palace offers amazing lunch specials so for my entree I chose lamb palak. This dish consists of boneless marinated lamb in a thick tomato gravy seasoned with spinach, garlic, garam masala, and other spices. The lamb was extremely tender, juicy, and flavorful. The curry tomato sauce had a wonderful taste and aroma with the distinct flavors of a traditional Indian curry. The rice was fluffy and tender. With all of the curry dishes you are able to customize how spicy you want your sauce and I chose medium which was the perfect kick of heat to round out all of the flavors. This dish was very tasty.
My mother ordered the chicken tikka masala. I was able to try it out and not only was it beautiful to look at, boy was it flavorful. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the sauce had such an intense flavor of masala.
On the side, we ordered garlic naan (traditional Indian bread made in a tandoor clay oven) and raita (relish of shredded cucumber in house-made yogurt with chaat masala). Gorkha Palace smothers their naan with organic melted butter and when topped with fresh garlic and cilantro this naan was amazing. The butter and garlic literally melted in your mouth and when dipped in the curry from our entrees, it was even more delicious. The raita was also extremely flavorful and great to dip the naan in and add to the rice for the curries.
Overall, you can tell Gorkha Palace takes the time to utilize the best quality of ingredients and makes all of their dishes from scratch. The flavors are so intense and beautiful, I was amazed with the meal I had.
Gorkha Palace is relatively affordable. For an appetizer, two entrees, and two side dishes our total came just shy of $50. The portion sizes here are pretty large and you are sure to be satisfied with the quality of food you get.
Based on all of the following criteria discussed above I give Gorkha Palace an "A". The food is extremely flavorful and made with love, the prices are affordable, and the staff are very friendly. If you are ever in the downtown Minneapolis area make sure you check out Gorkha Palace for a delicious and authentic Indian meal.