Generally heading anywhere near Temple Bar for most Dubliners on the days surrounding Paddy’s weekend is not on the agenda. That said the lure of a €5000 rare bottle of Krug champagne proved too much of a lure for us to refuse.
The previous day we noticed a post from Montys of Kathmandu on one of their social channels showing the only bottle of Krug Clos d’Ambonnay in Ireland. This spiked our interest as there are not many venues in this part of town boasting the kind of wine list Montys display.
Despite many of our friends having a long love affair with this ethnic haunt, regretfully we had never been until last week when we popped in without a booking slightly later than we would have liked (our fault) around 9pm. Luckily the restaurant had two large group bookings so we didn’t feel too bad about keeping the staff late.
As Dublin’s first Nepalese restaurant they certainly have a unique selling point, with the owners, husband and wife team Shiva and Lina Gautam ensuring all of the food cooked here along with all the staff are every inch as Nepalese as they are.
If you aren’t familiar with Nepalese food it bears many similarities to Indian, however as there is a multitude of influences reflected in their cuisine dishes tend to be healthier and also not as hot, perfect for the Irish palate!
In fact our sharing starter resembled Japanese gyoza dumplings, these tiny delicate parcels of “Momo” as they are known are utterly delicious, packed with flavour and fragrant spice they are served with with a fermented vegetable slaw and a tomato based dipping sauce with a little hint of chilli and garlic. Excellent value for money and a gentle introduction to the cuisine for any nervous diners.
When you come to Monty’s make sure you bring the reading glasses and there is a hefty chunk of material on their wine list, personally it is one of the most diverse and interesting wine lists we have seen in some time.
Shiva is what one might consider a bit of a “wine geek” so unlike many restaurant owners he isn’t afraid to experiment with his list and loves nothing more than encouraging diners to go out of their comfort zone.
Often wth ethnic cuisine many wines can clash with the food however here they complement each other beautifully. Montys stock everything from a €24 bottle of Prova Regia Vino Verde to a top drawer Bordeaux belter like 2000 Chateau Lynch Bages for €600.
We decided to hold off on the Krug, happy with a mere glimpse of the bottle and instead settled for a well priced bottle of Bellingham, Old Vine, Chenin Blanc 2013 €40, an elegant yet lively drop that worked deliciously with our popular main Ledo Bedo (€19.95), a traditional Nepali curry, served medium with some Pilao Bhat, a perfumed rice with ghee and spices, we opted for some plump prawns in ours that peeked out like sunken treasure daring to be enjoyed.
On the other side of the table served in traditional copper bowls was a rich, creamy dish of Barbari (€18.50) with hearty chunks of succulent lamb, slow cooked and meltingly good, hidden within an aromatic masala sauce with subtle hints of mint striking a perfect balance together with Monty’s secret spices.
Portions are more than generous so on this occasion we decide to skip dessert, instead opting for a sneak peak of Monty’s new tasting cellar which is now available for private bookings and tastings.
A veritable Aladdin’s Cave of some of the most unique wines we have stumbled upon in some time, in addition to stocking some fantastic value fine wines, Shiva has also invested in some more quirky bottles like his most recent inclusion of a Tibetan wine called Ao Yum, not something you will easily find anywhere in Dublin.
This eclectic list of over 400 wines coupled with an infectious enthusiasm for all things vinified make Monty’s an impressive contender as one of the city’s must visits for any wine lover.
Monty’s is a bit of an unsung hero, comforting food, warm service, and outstanding wines, tucked away in a part of the city us locals often neglect, this is one detour with making.
Dinner for two including a bottle of sparkling water and wine came to €108.15
Montys Of Kathmandu
28 Eustace St,
T: 01 6704911