As an avid foodie, it’s always exciting to see a new restaurant opening, especially when it’s local to where you live, so I was delighted to be invited to attend the opening night of the Buddha Nepalese Restaurant & Lounge that’s just opened at 34-36 Montague Street, Kettering; the next town to where I live.
I’ve never had Nepalese food before, so admit that I was a little unsure on what I’d be eating and whether it would be a bit too much on the spicy side for me personally, so I had a quick look on their website at the menu that they’ve got on offer and was subsequently really looking forward to attending and tasting their food, as well as experience the ambience of the new venture.
The restaurant looked really inviting from the external view, (although sadly I couldn’t get a good photograph to share with you, apart from the sign above). Warm oranges and pinks from the bar area are balanced with white spotlights which greet you through the windows and invite you in on a cold, dark, November evening. I was warmly greeted with a genuine smile and welcomed by the staff, from where I was shown through to the restaurant which sits neatly at the back of the lounge and bar area where I was introduced to the General Manager, Bikram, who showed me to my table.
Bikram welcomed us both and explained the concept of the new venture and how they had transformed the space into something new and exciting with a restaurant offering quality cuisine and a dining experience that has never been seen locally before. They want the lounge area to be used by locals as the perfect place for a meeting, for a quick lunch, a chat, or a business meeting during the daytime, with the restaurant being used for a longer, more luxuriant dining during the evenings. They also offer a take away service if you prefer to dine at home. They’re open daily from 12pm to 11pm in the Lounge area, with the restaurant being open from 6pm – 11pm daily.
We were brought our drinks, along with papadams and a selection of accompaniments whilst they took our order and we waited for our meals to arrive. I was pleased to be asked how I liked my food; whether I preferred it more on the mild or the spicy side, so that it could be prepared according to your own tastes.
They had prepared a special opening night menu of a few of their signature dishes. I chose to have the Hariyali Chicken Tikka – boneless chicken baked using skewers in a tandoor (clay) oven after being marinated in mint, spices and yoghurt. The chunks of perfectly cooked chicken were brought to the table served on a sizzling platter of lightly cooked, but soft, mild onions.
My dining partner chose the Chicken Mo:Mo – which was a plate of beautifully crafted little minced chicken dumplings, served with a dipping sauce.
For our main courses, I chose the Chicken Nepal – a chicken breast stuffed with minced lamb in a delicious Nepalese style sauce, with rice. The Mayor chose the Gurkhali Lamb – a dish of lamb cooked with yoghurt and spices, along with naan bread. In the interest of sampling as many of the dishes as we could, we did have a taste of each others’ meals. The Gurkhali Lamb, though very tasty, was a little too spicy for me personally.
For dessert, we both went for the Gajar Ka Halwa, which was described to us as a little bit like a carrot cake. It arrived with a scoop of ice cream, but was more of a spiced puree than what you would normally expect in a cake. We both finished our meals with a coffee.
I found all of the staff to be attentive and friendly, without being pushy or obtrusive; checking with us that our meals were to our liking and clearing the table promptly as well as offering to refresh our drinks during the evening. The lounge area to the front is at street level with no restricted access, with the restaurant being accessed via a few steps, but it’s also wheelchair friendly with an alternative ramp to the side to allow access to all. You can contact Buddha on 01536 529100 or on 01536 480032. Their address is 34-36 Montague Street, Kettering, NN16 8RU.
I was provided with a complimentary meal and drinks to help promote the opening of the restaurant, in exchange for an honest review and feedback as a local food blogger.