Danphe Nepalese and Indian restaurant has been open less than a year but it already has a strong following in Hobart. There is a hustle and bustle about this place that is welcoming; full tables, the amazing aroma of their food and people coming and going to grab take-away.
This Girl and The Only Child stumbled upon Danphe when we were in search of something different for lunch. When we first walked through the doors the place was full, which we’ve since learnt is typical for workday lunches, however we managed to catch the eye of Rachel, who became our regular waitress. She did a bit of swapping of tables and managed to fit us in.
She was also very helpful given our lack of knowledge of Nepalese food, and made some suggestions she thought we might like to try. For those that are new to Nepalese food like us, it is a blend of Indian and Tibetan influences with flavours of tomatoes, cumin, coriander, chilies, peppers and garlic. Potatoes, lentils and rice also play major roles in the cuisine.
We started with their samosa chaat $8, a crushed samosa served with onion, green chilli, yoghurt, tamarind sauce, mint sauce and fresh coriander. This popular savory snack is out of this world amazing, the samosa pastry is crispy and delicate and the combination of the sauces is inspiring.
Next we had Nepalese dumplings which are called momos, thin pastry and flavourful fillings. We had the chicken momo platter $20; momos served four different ways, steamed, pot sticker-style, fried, and steamed, served in a chilli sauce with onion and capsicum.
We’ve been back on a few occasions since discovering Danphe and we’ve managed to work our way through some more of the menu.
Prawn pakora $12; beautifully cooked prawns in a crispy lightly chickpea batter.
Chicken choyla $10; shredded grilled chicken tossed with fresh ginger, lemon juice, garlic, coriander, and spring onion. We weren’t expecting this dish to be cold but after that initial shock we loved the flavour.
Lamb biryani $15; this was a hearty dish of meat and rice, beautifully spiced and served with raita in a cast iron pot.
Their prawn curry $20, prawns perfectly cooked in coconut milk and served in a delicate homemade tomato sauce. We had this with some steamed jasmine rice, $3, and a plain naan bread, $3.
On one of our visits it was This Girl’s birthday and the lovely team shouted us to a Nepalese dessert, gulab jamun; a milk dumpling served in a sweet rose water syrup. We’ve also tried their sweet jalebi, a bright orange swirl of batter deep fried and soaked in a rosewater syrup, nice cold but really good zapped in the microwave for 15 seconds!
Sadly our favourite waitress, Rachel has now moved on to another adventure outside of hospitality. Our most recent visit was to farewell her on her last day.
This time we tried the Aloo Tikka Chat, $8; delicate and tasty potato patties topped the same sauces as the Samosa Chaat, this one certainly gives the Samosa Chaat a run for its money.
Aaloo Chops $8, fried potato fritter goodness.
Tandoori lamb cutlets $15, marinated in yoghurt and spices and cooked in a clay tandoor, these were amazingly tender and full of flavor. Chicken Chow Mein $12; stir fried noodles with chicken, fresh veggies, spring onions and coriander with a hint of Nepalese spices.
Rachel convinced us to fit in dessert and steered us toward Kheer, one of her favourite desserts. We’ve found that most of their sweets are really sweet at Danphe however Kheer is more warming and hearty than sweet.
Kheer is a rice pudding served warm with flavours of cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. This Girl is not a fan of rice desserts however I’d have this one again any day! All their desserts are $5 each.
You’ll find some of your regular Indian dishes here like butter chicken, Daal, Tandoori chicken and Lamb Korma, plus they have ready to go specials in their Bain Marie, one curry, rice and nann bread for $10 or $12 for two curries.
What we’ve enjoyed the most however is discovering new dishes from a cuisine unfamiliar around Hobart. The flavours and aromas are amazing and the dishes are presented beautifully, some coming out in regal looking gold serving dishes.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian is led by head chef and owner Dila, previously of Ganges Indian by Nature.
Find them at at 138 Collins Street, they are open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 9pm and Sunday 3pm to 9pm
Check them out on Facebook
Here’s another of our favourite Indian restaurants that offer something a little different Maharajah Indian Restaurant