When it comes to Indian eateries, the last place you’d expect to find one is an industrial estate on the outskirts of the city.
But that’s exactly where Mount Everest Restaurant is, hidden away among oil and gas firms in the Blackburn Industrial Estate.
You could argue it’s a strange location for a restaurant, however, the team at the Nepalese and Indian eatery have redesigned a former office into a welcoming and, quite frankly, stunning space.
Draped in bright blues and crisp whites, the rustic, wooden booths caught my eye.
Electric-blue neon lights line the walls and booths, bringing a relaxed and laid-back feel to the overall atmosphere.
The eatery, named after the world’s highest mountain, claims to be “the peak of Nepalese and Indian cuisine” – something I was intrigued by.
The back wall is another eye-catching area of the restaurant, which pays homage to its namesake landmark with a subtle piece of art hanging in the shape of the mountaintop.
The grey stonework of the wall spreads to the front of the bar across the opposite side of the restaurant, hinting at its Granite City setting.
We’d booked a table earlier that day and the staff managed to sneak us a table for two on a busy Saturday night. Our reservation was for just before 6pm, and we rocked up ready to see if the food would live up to the heights of the mountain it’s named after.
From the minute we stepped through the doors, my boyfriend and I felt well catered for.
Seated in one of the cosy cabin-esque booths, I was chuffed we’d managed to bag, in my opinion, one of the best seats in the house – who doesn’t love sitting in a booth?
Our drinks arrived promptly and we were offered help with the menu countless times by different members of staff.
Having peeked at the offerings online, we didn’t take long to order.
Poppadoms are a must for any Indian restaurant visit, so we tucked into the crisp discs, dipping them into the delicious mango chutney, spiced onion and a fruity, barbecue-style sauce.
The Mo Mo, dumplings with a spicy tomato sauce and sesame chutney, and the Lekali Hansh, strips of spicy marinated and grilled duck breast both looked mouth-watering on arrival.
Described as “the most popular Nepalese appetiser”, the Mo Mo was filled with minced chicken, herbs and spices and was paired with a mascarpone sauce, of which there was plenty to cover the five doughy pastries which my partner commented were “chewy, but more-ish.”
On the other side of the table sat my duck dish, which was phenomenal.
The warming heat of the spice was perfectly balanced with a side ramekin of mint yoghurt and the plentiful serving resulted in a plate full of vibrant colours.
The duck breast was succulent and tender and I was treated to five pieces.
It wasn’t fatty, which I liked, and had been marinated, packing it with flavour.
The same barbecue sauce which was served with the poppadoms, came drizzled down the side of my plate, as well as a small crunchy side salad which mainly consisted of leaves.
The dip was a real highlight and finished the dish off beautifully.
For the main, I shied away from my usual creamy chicken go-to and decided to try out the monkfish.
My date picked a meal I knew I would definitely enjoy so we were set if we wanted to swap meals halfway.
A short while later a portion of the Gorkhali Chicken and the Tirsuli Maccha arrived.
Alongside it was the peshwari and the garlic naans we had also ordered, as well as a serving of Everest Aloo – Bombay potatoes.
Both curries looked delicious.
The chicken was cooked well in the restaurant’s tandoor, while the tangy tomato sauce had a fair kick to it, as the menu had warned, with a two-chilli spice label.
Lots of diced, fresh onion and coriander featured, as did some yoghurt which calmed the flavours down a little.
My curry was very fishy and, never having had a fish-based version before, it was a little intense for my liking.
The meal as a whole was delicious but the nicely cooked fish was so powerful it killed off a lot of the other flavours.
The smooth sauce was enjoyable, and there was plenty of it for me to scoop up with my peshwari naan, which was absolutely divine. The addition of ajwain, a herby spice, introduced a slightly bitter taste, which the yoghurt and coconut flattened out.
The Everest Aloo was spot on – fluffy potatoes, a brilliant tangy sauce and chunky pieces of onion and tomato, it’s one side I would definitely order again.
The earthy notes and a slight sweetness that rested on the tip of my tongue created an ideal partnership with the two mains.
Both naans were very enjoyable and packed with flavour – something I think is very important when you don’t order rice to soak up the curry sauce.
More than satisfied, we politely passed on dessert and decided to call it a night.
The staff, having put on a show in the kitchen, brought the theatrics to the table. We were presented with a little porcelain ornament, which was small and white, that came to life as boiling hot water was poured over it, transforming into a hot towel.
After, we tucked into the complimentary orange slices and chocolates as I settled the bill.
We headed for the door, past a queue of people waiting for a table and others picking up takeaway orders – a clear testament to the eatery’s popularity.
The staff at Mount Everest Restaurant are very attentive and extremely friendly.
Always looking to please and offer advice, I felt more than looked after while dining.
My only nit-pick, and it is a small one, would be that they should just allow diners to sit back and enjoy their meal – or have one dedicated waiter for the table.
Being asked by five different people how our meal was seemed a little overbearing to me, but I can’t fault them for being so attentive and helpful.
They were always on hand to offer advice, explaining everything including the homemade cheesecakes on offer for dessert.
The food was just as impressive as the interior and the room packed with people made it clear that this restaurant is well-loved and very popular.
If you’re heading out to Blackburn, or just passing by, be sure to pop in for a visit.