Gurkha Square, Grantham
Caroline Bingham visited Gurkha Square in Grantham where traditional Nepalese dishes feature on their tempting menu.
Gurkha Square is a multi-award winning restaurant located on the busy junction of Wharf Road in the centre of Grantham with parking conveniently close by. The crossroads of influences from China, India and Tibet which have produced the unique range of dishes local to Nepal are served here along with a broad choice of Indian cuisine.
This was not my first visit to Gurkha Square but it is now under the ownership of Jaya Acharya, who gave us a warm welcome. The food and hospitality are the main features of Gurkha Square and I soon remembered why we had chosen to arrive early – I not only wanted to have time to chat with Jaya but also they do get busy on popular nights and several large parties began to arrive shortly after.
We were quite happy to let Jaya make a recommendation from the menu. There are over sixty starters and main courses; add in the side dishes and there are over ninety options and I felt I had run out of decision making that week. But we were in good hands. Jaya asked what heat of spice we liked in our food and if we had any intolerances.
Our starters were to be MoMo, a traditional Nepalese dish of steamed dumpling, stuffed with marinated minced lamb and served with tomato and sesame seed chutney and secondly, a Gurkha Square Mini Mix of onion bhaji, chicken tikka, lamb kebab, king prawn and malai tikka. While the starters were prepared and we sipped our drinks we grazed on poppadums served with onion salsa, chutney and raita. The freshness of the ingredients and spice mixes are what elevates the food served at Gurkha Square. Our starters arrived and we shared the platters. The MoMo packed a punch of heat in the lamb with the dumpling case equally comforting and tasty. The Mini Mix gave a tempting appetiser of delicious shellfish, meat and vegetable portions served with a sweet fruit dip and raita. This had been an impressive start to our meal.
The restaurant was lively with chatting groups and the friendly staff made sure our drinks were topped up. Our main courses were also chosen from the Nepalese special dishes. My companion chose a medium spicy curry of chicken breast in a special Nepalese Bhutuwa sauce with herbs and spring onion. I opted for Machha Kholako; marinated pieces of white fish cooked with crusted mustard with a touch of garlic, ginger and coriander. Mine too was of medium heat. We ordered a side of pilau rice and a Peshwari naan to share between us. These dishes were packed with subtle flavour. The onion in the Bhutuwa gave an extra bite to the dish while the mustard crust around the fish gave a sweetness and softness which added an extra complexity to the flavours. Generous servings, charming hospitality as well as a commitment to value are why Gurkha Square is a local favourite.
That appreciation has been reflected in national awards coming the restaurant’s way. Last year Gurkha Square won Highly Commended in both the Asian Curry Awards Best Nepalese Restaurant in the UK and Best Asian Restaurant in the East Midlands. In addition they were finalists in the English Curry Awards for the Best Asian Restaurant.
If you prefer to dine at home there is also a takeaway service which will deliver free of charge within a three mile radius of the restaurant but you may prefer to collect and enjoy a 15% discount on orders above £20.
At its peak on the night we visited, all the tables were occupied in Gurkha Square so my recommendation would be to reserve your table, especially on weekend evenings. Curry connoisseurs will find plenty to delight them here and with such a variety of choice you will find everything from beautifully delivered familiar Indian dishes to exciting Nepalese cuisine which will be a delight to explore.