The Nepalese and Indian restaurant, 8848, named in recognition of the 8848 metre high peak of  Mount Everest, may have the less mountainous location of Union Street in Aberdeen, but inside it’s a true representation of South Asia through its cuisine.

Authentic is a word too often bandied around, but at 8848, you really do get a taste of everyday dishes as eaten by the people of India and Nepal. They have resisted the temptation to tailor their dishes to satisfy Western tastes and remained faithful to the food of their culture.  It’s easy to see (and taste) why this is an award-winning restaurant.

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Armed with an obligatory glass of wine, my friend and I delved right in to India with a plate of poppadoms and a selection of dips, before tucking into Smoked Indian Cottage Cheese and King Scallops.  Beautifully presented and drizzled with a light sauce, it was a perfect introduction to the main meal to come.

I crossed over the border into Nepal for my main meal, and my choice of Dal Bhat Masu was a pick and mix platter of Nepalese goodies. Described as one of the country’s traditional dinners, it was an array of little dishes that included lamb, lentils and rice, with a tomato based dressing. It was deliciously filling without being too heavy, like some Asian food offerings can be. You don’t feel like you need to walk the Himalayas to work it off.

My friend joined me in Nepal for her meal of Himali Hansch Bhutuwa, a tender barbequed duck breast with green herbs, spices, and spring onion. It was enough on its own, but worked well with the fluffiest ever naan bread to savour the dish’s sauce dressing.

From the food, to the taste, to the ambience; everything in the restaurant is quintessentially Nepalese and Indian.  You don’t need to travel around the world to experience authentic South Asian cuisine. It’s right here in Aberdeen, at 8848.

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