Friday I got invited into the secret world of Nepalese food. I say secret because, well, for some reason, Hong Kong doesn’t like to recognize Nepalese workers, even when they try to open restaurants that serve really fantastic food. Luckily, I know a guy who knows a guy, and Friday afternoon, I got invited in. We walked along a few side streets, past no less than four 7-11s (this city has an unhealthy obsession), 2 buildings under construction and a tasty looking fruit stand, into a very normal looking apartment building. We had to wait outside the front gate until some one who actually lived there went in. We went up a few flights of stairs to what would appear to be a normal apartment. Had the door been closed, I’m sure there would have been a secret knock. But they were expecting us (call ahead only) and the door was wide open, delicious smells wafting out into the open-aired hallway. They led us past the crammed little kitchen, through the living room containing a cooler, a very large T.V., three tables with plastic chairs and a very cool paper lantern. We were shown into what was supposed to have been a bedroom, but had been converted into a “private dining room.” A few minutes after we sat down, the owner/cook/waiter brought our silver platters to the table. Rice, pork, sliced cucumbers, some potato-eggplant-curry mix, bok choy (the typical Asian greens), and this amazingly delectable yellow bean sauce called Doll. For 30 HongKong Dollars (I’ll save you from having to look up the conversion, that’s $3.84 American) it was an all you can eat meal. That’s right, never ending plates of Nepalese goodness. Served by a man who calls everyone “Friend” and keeps a watchful eye on the door for anyone that doesn’t belong.
The Nepalese restaurant has had to move a time or two. Because the Nepalese can’t get a work permit in Hong Kong, they have to keep their cooking on the down low. All the local Nepalese people know where to go, and if you find yourself befriending the right guy or gal, you will eventually find ourself at “Friend’s” place, dining on the best Doll Sauce this side of the Himalayas and never ending portions of pork, mutton, liver, and vegetables. Its good to know the right people in this city.