Yearning for a bit of variety last Saturday night, my husband and I decided to try Base Camp Café in Hanover for an early dinner. We’d heard from friends who visited the restaurant during its opening last September that its Nepalese cuisine was excellent, and a glance at my Yelp app showed the restaurant has already been thoroughly reviewed, most giving 4-5 stars and many compliments.
Per its website, the café takes reservations, but I decided we would wing it. We walked in just after 6pm and already the place was busy, but a few tables were still available. (It’s not a huge place – “café” is appropriate.) After being immediately seated, we started our study of the double-columned/double-sided food menu, which offers many choices, while the drink menu remains simple. We studied the menu for 10 minutes, and our server was back to take our order.
Mo Mos (“the most popular and anytime food in Nepal”) were a must-try as I had seen a lengthy description on Base Camp’s website, and each review I’d read mentioned them. So we went with the Paneer & Spinach Mo Mos. Drinks came, and a few minutes later, eight warm, steamed dumplings appeared with a little tin of chili sauce on the side. They were a perfect start to satiate our appetites for the few more minutes it took to receive our entrees.
It had been a tough choice, but I limited my selection to the Mushroom Tarkari, “cooked in a tomato base curry sauce with different fresh vegetables”. When it arrived, I was impressed at the portion size and immediately thought I’d be taking half of it home. It was delicious. Large, plump mushrooms, along with carrots, onions, celery, green pepper, and a topping of green onion. The sauce was light, and the amount of basmati rice was just right to mix in but not to overwhelm the main event. And without even thinking, I finished almost every bite without stuffing myself. It was a very hearty and healthy dish.
My only very minor critique is that our server wasn’t available after we received our entrees, but this did not impede our good experience; also, I’d read she and her husband are the only servers, (while her sister and her husband, the owners, are in the back preparing all the food). It’s a family affair, and I appreciate their openness to share Nepalese cuisine.
Base Camp Café is open 11am – 9:30pm Sunday – Thursday, and until 10pm on Friday and Saturday. They offer dine in, take out, and catering.
Mo Mos: $9 – $12
Entrees: $14 – $26 (and for $3 more, add lentil Dal soup or bread)
For every entrée, you choose 1 – 10 for its spice level; I felt 5 had a small kick but wasn’t as much as I'd expected.