102 High Street
+61 3 9482 1168
Cookie Monster had travelled back to Singapore to arrange the moving of her doggies over to Melbourne, leaving Hughey B to fend for himself. The Angmoh and I took his lonesome self out for dinner, leaving the decision of where to eat to him. We decided to try out his local curry joint in Northcote.
Base Camp offers Nepalese and Indian cuisine and as the boys awakened their palettes with Everest beer (which is pretty nice), I got stuck into a mango lassi. It came tall and pretty and was extremely thick and sweet, almost like the Gippsland fruit twist yoghurt. I would have preferred a thinner, tangier version, like the ones I had come across in India.
The menu offers a good variety of curries and not the usual run-of-the-mill sorts like butter chicken or tikka masala. There is laal maans, which supposedly hails from Rajasthan and is the very dish that The Angmoh opted for. This had good flavours from the spices and I thought it was pretty nice, despite not being a huge fan of lamb.
Hughey B’s Himalayan goat curry was the most well-received that evening. The gamey meat was tender and fell off the bones easily. It was more of a dry curry then a saucy one, but still wonderful with the rice and bread.
Mine was the most unusual. It was from the specials menu of that evening, an offering of fried stuffed paneer in a tomato cashew sauce. It was the first time I’d come across stuffed paneer and this I enjoyed thoroughly. The filling of capsicum and nuts gave more flavour to the usually subtle cheese, and fried batter provided a different texture. I didn’t quite enjoy the sauce though, it was extremely rich and cloying. I also thought the serve of 3 paneer triangles didn’t quite justify the cost of the dish.
Our other dishes included an entrée of momo, or Nepalese dumplings and naan, both plain and garlic. The momos had thin skins and the herbs in the filling gave personality to the dumplings. The chilli garlic sauce for dipping them in were also a great accompaniment. The naans on the other hand, were oddly fluffy and soft and were rather disappointing.
Our overall experience at Base Camp had hits and misses. I suspect the authenticity of the restaurant leans more towards Nepalese flavours, for the momos and goat curry were excellent.
We ended our evening with a brief stroll to Il Melograno, a gelato place that Cookie Monster has been telling me about. The flavours that we indulged in were chocolate rosemary, Iranian pistachio, Fior di latte, Dutch chocolate, banana walnut and Ricci method coffee. The gelato is served in a cup or cone and (best part) both are edible wafers! I had the 1st 2 flavours and they were stunning. I marvelled at the pairing of chocolate and rosemary, it was unexpectedly beautiful. I hear Il Melagrano does dinners too, and I think the next time we dine with Hughey B (and Cookie Monster), this will have to be the place.