Shimbu Tibetan Restaurant & Bar
58 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Brunswick
0405 319 161
- Steamed Sha Momos (Beef Dumplings)
- Fried Tsel Momos (Vegeterian Dumplings)
- Marmo Bedhai (Spicy Chicken Curry w/ Coconut Milk)
- Nyamo Kyurmo (Beef w/ Lemon, Honey, Tomatoes & Herbs)
- Chasha Shoka Solo (Chicken Wings w/ Fresh Chilli, Onion & Tomato)
- Spicy Pork Belly Tacos served on Pan Fried Roti
- Deysee (Sweet Rice w/ Sultanas & Nuts)
The Fried Vegeterian Momos were rather delicious. Fried to the perfect golden colour, the crunchy outer skin enclosed a generous mix of minced vegetables. The added curry powder resulted in the filling bearing close resemblance to the inner of a curry puff. Dabbing on some house made chilli sauce added extra depth in flavour and a nice spicy kick that absolutely hit the spot. These were perhaps some of the most delicious dumplings I’ve had and unsurprisingly this is one of the most popular dishes here.
The highlight of the meal though were the Spicy Pork Belly Tacos wrapped in Roti. The roti itself was unlike any other renditions I’ve ever had. It was stiff without being dense or heavy, and with each bite, you are rewarded with a great crunch of flavourful dough that also managed to be exceedingly flakey. The stiffness of the roti greatly assisted in holding all the components together and prevented it from turning into a super messy feed. This was all well complemented by the juicy and fatty pork belly and pickled vegetables which were rich and diverse in both flavour and texture. Combined with their spicy sauce, this taco was extremely palatable definitely left me wanting for more.
The Nyamo Kyurmo was also very enjoyable. The tomato flavour was rich and forward, with a slight hint of honey and an aroma of orange aftertaste. This was a much more sophisticated and refined version of your average sweet and sour dish, with a greater balance of flavour that enables you to taste not just the sauce, but the freshness of the beef slices itself as well. Due to the richness of flavours, drizzling just the sauce on plain rice resulted in a scrumptious feed in and of itself.
We also found the unasuming Chasha Shoka Solo rather spectacular. Lightly fried, it was glazed with a sauce that was a highly aromatic mix of chilli and onions. Admittedly, the chicken itself was a tad plain, but when eaten along with the tomato-based glazing, these turned out to be some of the best pan-fried chicken wings I’ve had, bursting with flavour and with just the right amount of crunch.
As we admittedly enjoy spicy food, we bravely attempted the Marmo Bedhai and damn does it pack a punch. The curry was highly aromatic and the flavours were forward and bold. A diverse variety of ingredients were used to create the curry sauce itself which made for incredibly intricate and complex taste. The tender chicken pieces were well marinated and inherited much of it’s flavour from the delicious curry sauce which went incredibly with the butter roti.
We were exceedingly full by the time the mains were polished off, but we couldn’t say no to the Deysee - which is a traditional Tibetan dessert. The rice was sweetened just right with coconut and was cooked extremely soft, glutinous and moist without being mushy. The sultanas offered great contrast in flavour with bursts of sweetness and sourness dotted throughout.
While the fried dumplings were a real winner, the steamed beef dumplings felt rather ordinary in contrast. Skin was on the thick side and while the beef mince was flavourful, it wasn’t bursting with juiciness. They were by no means bad, but just paled when compared to the amazing fried vegetarian offering.
Overall an excellent meal with the roti disguised as a taco the highlight of the evening. I’d have to say this is undoubtedly the best rendition of a roti I’ve had, irregardless of culture and cuisine, and locale.
When ordering, Tenzin told us to go nuts, and being the gluttons that we are, we sampled a huge variety of dishes that offered up extremely unique flavours and textures.
We left carrying our bellies barely able to walk, mostly due to the variety of delicious food but also due to the generous portion sizes.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Most definitely. The quality of the food served, given the price, is simply unbeatable. Along with their ever-evolving modern menu, I’d definitely be back for more of Tenzin’s creations.
I’m incredibly thankful to have been invited to try out Shimbu and there’s no doubt I will be craving their roti for a long long time.