19 May 2011

Desi Style Chinese Food at Himalayan Hut

Desi [d̪eːsi] or Deshi [d̪e(ː)ʃi] refers to the people, cultures, and products of the Indian subcontinent and, increasingly, to the people, cultures, and products of their diaspora. It may also mean "native" or "traditional." Common examples are "desi ghee," which is the traditional clarified butter from India, as opposed to more processed fats such as vegetable oils. "Desi chicken" may mean a native breed of chicken. Heritage varieties of vegetables and other produce can also be qualified as "desi". "Desi diet" refers to a diet and food choices followed by Indians around the world. (taken from Wikipedia)

I am still finding a hard time pointing out what the word exactly means – all I know is that its meaning varies by use.

Desi Style Chinese Food is a cross between Indian Food and Chinese Food. I have heard lots about this cuisine before but I have not tried it until this trip.

Himalayan Hut is aptly named because we sampled dishes with Chinese, Indian, Nepalese and Bhutanese influences.

The General Location of the Himalayas Mountain Range

 Upon seating, you will notice a jar of chili sauce. Adding this is entirely up to you. It is more of an invitation, not a warning.

To accommodate all clientele, they have two menus. The regular menu and the Desi Menu. The regular menu is more tongue-friendly. The dishes from this menu are adjusted to the American palate that is not used to the heat and the spice that they normally put in their dishes. Since we came here for authentic, we ordered everything from the Desi Menu.


Hot and Sour Soup

Manchow Soup

Spoonful of Manchow Soup
The Hot and Sour Soup is very different from what is commonly served in Chinese restaurants. This is a heartier and more robustly flavored soup. It is generously filled with chunks of chicken.

According to Wikipedia, Manchow Soup is a dark brown soup prepared with various vegetables, scallions, and chicken (in the non-vegetarian version only), thickened with stock and corn flour, and flavored with relatively generous doses of soy sauce, salt, garlic and chili peppers. It may also be garnished with chopped scallions.


Pan Fried Chicken

Piece of Pan Fried Chicken

Desi Style Pan Fried Chicken

Small Green Chilies in the Desi Style Pan Fried Chicken
We had the Pan Fried Chicken TWICE because when we first asked for it, we said we wanted it spicy. The owner was apprehensive that we could take the spice so she gave us the non-desi version first. The dish contains chopped pieces of deboned chicken thigh and almost each piece would have a piece of crispy chicken skin attached to it. We liked this one, but after proving to the owner that we can handle the spice, the Desi Style came out. When this dish landed in our tongues, it tasted like victory!

Desi Style Pan Fried Chicken is not as crispy as the regular version. This one has a thick dark brown sticky sauce that boasts the complexity of sweet, salty and spicy tastes all rolled into one. 

Noodles and Dumplings

Shrimp Hakka Noodles

Beef Momos
The Shrimp Hakka Noodles has a familiar but different taste. Similar to the Pan Fried Noodle served in a Chinese restaurant, this is a noodle dish that must not be missed. There is nothing really special about it except that it tastes good and very comforting. The Beef Momos are similar to dimsum with a different dough and filling. The tomato based dipping sauce that comes with it makes the dish sing.

Lunch Entrees

Ginger Chicken With Rice

Hot Garlic Fish with Rice

Mushroom Datsi

Fluffy Dumplings
Part of the Lunch Special Combos, we got the Ginger Chicken and Hot Garlic Fish with a side of plain and fried rice. It looks quite similar to some Chinese Takeout dishes, it tastes different, but familiar. These dishes were not spicy at all.

The Mushroom Datsi is a Bhutanese Dish that consists of mushrooms, lots of green chillies and Amul Cheese. A possible winning drink pairing with this is alcohol. The dish's taste go from creamy to spicy and back.

Lastly, these dumplings were fluffy and light. Truly a sight to behold! Unravels like a cinnamon roll, there is no filling inside but the texture of these fluffy dough balls is just good!

I like that Himalayan Hut's interiors make you feel that you are inside a bamboo hut.

Sadly, the exteriors is not as inviting as the interiors. Now that you know what you are getting into – go ahead and have an authentic Himalayan meal.

Himalayan Hut
75-18 37th Ave
Jackson Heights NY
718 426 6888

Special thanks to Jeff Orlick for organizing this wonderful Himalayan Expedition. I had a wonderful lunch with you, Jared Cohee and Elyaqim Mosheh Adam. Please visit their blogs.

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