07 Sep Shimbu, Brunswick East
A family-owned Tibetan restaurant, Shimbu comes from the same family who previously owned Wild Yak in Northcote. Both traditional and modern Tibetan food is served out of the black-tiled contemporary space, decorated with Tibetan masks and paintings.
Two cocktails begin the proceedings, both on the fruitier side of things. The Berry Paradise is full of berry bits mixed with chambord and tequila, and Mrs Shimbu is a peppy drink of lychee, lime, vodka and alize.
Shimbu is the word meaning delicious and highly pleasing to the senses in the Tibetan language, so with great eagerness we tuck into dinner. We try steamed sha (beef) momos, and fried tsel (vegetarian) momos, which taste somewhat like a samosa. The dumpling skins are thicker than most Chinese dumplings, and there’s a decent ratio of filling to skin. Both come with a delicious home made chilli sauce.
The mildly spicy Marmo Bedhai is a coconut milk-based curry. In the chicken version, juicy thigh meat is used, and the curry is tasty, but not too heavy on the spices. Nyamo Kyurmo is a dish of thinly sliced beef with lemon, honey, tomatoes and herbs. The flavours are quite balanced, and it’s not as sweet or as sour as it may sound from the description. The sauces are happily enjoyed with plain roti and tingmo, a steamed doughy bun that is made in house, folded up like a concertina.
Chasha Shokpa Solo are chicken wings seasoned with fresh chilli, onion and tomato. They’re fried to a light crisp, and are peppery and salty, reminding me of a Chinese sparerib dish that I’m quite fond of.
On the contemporary front, there’s fried chicken, bao and tacos on the menu. As with all the ‘tacos’, the spicy pork belly taco uses pan-fried roti rather than a tortilla, and the roti is more uniformly crisp compared to Malaysian roti. Pickled daikon helps balance the slight sweetness of the pork, and carrot, tomato, cucumber, kewpie mayo add freshness.
We end with the traditional Deysee, a dessert of sticky sweet rice, sultanas and nuts. Warm and comforting when eaten hot and freshly prepared from the kitchen.
The food at Shimbu is generously served, tasty and reasonably priced, and the provision of traditional and modern Tibetan cuisine is point of difference on this little strip on Lygon Street.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Shimbu as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
58 Lygon St
Brunswick East, VIC, 3057
(03) 9939 0224