Chulo [Watertown, MA]

Chulo is a Nepali/Indian place that I believe is about a year old, and took the place of a dreadful pan-Asian restaurant that had been there for years. We tried it for the first time tonight. I have had Nepali food before, but not in quite a while, and we ordered from that side of the menu. We had:

  • Chicken chili Momo: Chicken Dumplings served in the Chef’s special chili sauce with red onions, and three types of bell peppers.
  • Veg Mo:Mo
  • Dumplings stuffed with cabbage, carrot and Nepali spices, wrapped in flour dough and steamed, served with Nepalese Chutney.
  • Waiwai Sedeko: “Nepali noodles mixed with ginger, garlic, green chili, red chili, lemon, green onions, cilantro and Szechuan pepper” This one was…interesting. It tasted very strongly of Szechuan peppercorns, but did not have much of the tingle/numbing. The flavor was almost overpowering, in a floral/soapy kind of way.
  • Black chickpeas cooked with onions, scallions and cilantro and served with beaten rice. This was a small portion appetizer, but a hit with everyone. “Beaten rice” means flattened crispy rise, which came in a separate container and added a nice texture.
  • Lamb Sekuwa. Simple cubes of grilled lamb, marinated in mustard oil, chili, lime and Nepali spices. Served with puffed rice. I liked this one, some thought it was salty.

The spice combinations and rice preparations they use are really pretty unique, and worth trying if you haven’t had Nepali food before. Other than maybe the noodles, I would get everything else again, and I’m eager to try the rest of their menu, including some of the familiar northern Indian dishes.

Menu: https://www.grabull.com/restaurant/chulo-restaurant-bar-1-waverley-avenue-watertown-ma

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Chulo is good for the Nepali dishes but not that great for the Indian food - we were actually quite underwhelmed recently when we also tried Chulo for the first time with everything Indian as most curries etc were very one-dimensional.
For “classical” Indian dishes closeby we prefer Spice Delight which isn’t really great but still far more complex and interesting.

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Huh, good to know, and I won’t bother then. It’s a little depressing that solid Indian seems to be hard to come by in this area. Are any of the current options on Moody these days above average?

Not in Waltham, but I was really impressed with JMP Fine Indian Cuisine on Comm Ave. in Allston/ Brighton. Looks like some form of delivery is available, but I ordered and picked up to go. Everything was fresh & delicious. Probably not as convenient for you, but just sayin’ :slight_smile:

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We’ve been to both Nepal and India (only New Delhi) and although there’s a lot of cross-pollination, particularly in Nepal (caveat, in touristy areas), I wouldn’t expect any practitioner here in the States to be prolific in both cuisines. I feel bad for straight-up Nepali places that have to cater to audiences looking for Indian food. It’s a matter of survival, I think.

Edited to add: Nepal is one of my favorite places in the world that I’ve visited. It’s so distinct from India.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

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