New Openings: Soaltee Restaurant

A few short years ago, I complained that there was no authentic Nepalese cuisine in Mississauga. The city's food scene has a lot of -- rightfully and fortunately so -- with a plethora of Indian and other South Asian restos, but there is nary a Nepali joint to be seen in our fair suburb.

Until Soaltee.

Now people who call the scenic and chaotic country of Nepal home (or who simply fell in love with the momos and generous vegetable thali while visiting) can indulge in a huge helping of absurdly garlicky chicken momos (steamed dumplings filled with garlic and chicken and served with a thick, spicy dipping sauce) at Soaltee Restaurant, a newly opened Indian/Nepalese and Hakka Chinese gem that recently set up shop up in a plaza on Twain Ave. off of Mavis between Derry and the 407.

Soaltee, named after the luxurious Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee hotel in the bustling city of Kathmandu, doesn't just offer traditional Nepalese delights like chicken momos ($9.99), dal (curried lentils) and sweet masala tea ($1.49). It offers South Asian staples such as butter chicken, aloo gobi masala, goat vindaloo ($11.99) and more. It also has an extensive Hakka Chinese menu.

Nepalese Chicken momos

The restaurant even smells authentically Nepalese, engulfing diners in the same pungent air of spices they'd encounter in a roadside resto in the gorgeous lakeside village of Pokhara. The resto's odour differs from that of a more traditional Indian joint. It's deeper, smokier. It's the scent of a country filled with colour, mountains, intense traffic, chaos, scenery, good will, mystery and challenges.

It's a subtle, modest homage to the owner's home country. In fact, the resto's owner, who happily introduced himself as Giri, once owned a restaurant in the lively Thamel distrct in Kathmandu -- a tourist-heavy neighbourhood teeming with shops, restaurants, cafes and abundant swaths of humanity buying and selling everything from oranges to yak wool blankets to knock off North Face jackets.

Unique For: Being an Asian fusion resto with Nepalese staples, mainly chicken and vegetable momos and masala tea.

What We Recommend: The chicken momos. They're relatively basic in terms of appearance and ingredients, but they're authentically Nepali (although some believe the dish originated in Tibet) and they're garlicky enough to keep everyone away from you for days. The solitude is worth it.

Menu: The menu is extensive, boasting samosas (0.99 cents), pakoras ($6.99-$7.99), chicken tikka ($8.99), aloo gobi masala ($8.99), butter chicken ($10.99), Szechuan chicken ($9.99) and more. If you like Indian and Hakka Chinese cuisine, you will like this resto. Also, the butter chicken is heavy on the creamy sauce, making it all the more decadent. They also have a large take-out menu and offer party trays and catering.

Seats: 60

Patio: No

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