Road trip Nepalese

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Baps Nepalese Restaurant, 589 Gilbert Road, Preston. Phone: 0451 305 779

Calling this outing a Friday night thriller might be a bit of a stretch.

Nonetheless, we are rapt to be heading off to Preston with CTS pals Josh and Eliza.

They dined at Baps a while back and Bennie and I are only too happy to go along for the ride of a second visit as back-seat passengers buoyed by their enthusiasm.

We find – in the form of a lovely meal – that their bubbliness is entirely warranted.



Baps is located in a smallish shopping precinct with not a lot of Friday night action going on.

I strongly suspect Preston is a foodie haven, but our random and only occasional visits leave us largely unenlightened about the foodiness of the suburb as a whole.

But there’s no doubt about Baps – it is good.

The dining room is bright and cheerful, the menu (see below) features mostly dishes we expect based on our limited contact with Nepalese food, the service is fine and the wait times just right for the food we are served.



Of course, we have momo!

These vegetarian specimens ($9.95) and …



… these goat momo ($12.95) are both fine, though the latter are a tad more chewy and an equal tad non-tasty than I’d prefer.

The goat momo photo is one shy of a full serve because Josh snaffled one before I could get there with my camera.



Another Nepalese staple – I suspect it could even be referred to as the national dish – is chow mein.

This vegetarian version ($9.95) is just right – unoily, light and a treat to eat.

The big hit of the night, for me anyway, is the achaar ($5.95, top photo).

Less vinegary and spicy than we we’re familiar from Malaysian eateries, this is dynamite.

The vegetables are crunchy and the dressing is such that the dish reminds me of the sort of potato salad often served in the southern parts of the US.



Chilli chicken ($10.95) is more along the lines of an Indo-Chinese dish you might find in West Footscray.

This one is oily – but that goes with this territory.

We all like it anyway!



The lamb curry ($12.95) is, well, just lamb curry.

But please don’t read that as a flip dismissal – it’s fine and just right when matched with our other selections. It’s of mild spiciness



Do we have room for dessert?


The gulab jamun ($3.95) are lovely.



The milk-based rasvari ($3.95) are a hit with my friends, but the mealy texture doesn’t work for me.

Still, it’s been a fine dinner with friends.

Check out the Baps website here.


The Rolls Royce of bureks …

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Balkan Fresh Burek, 351 High Street, Preston. Phone: 9470 2433

All too often the bureks we see around the west look forlorn, past their use-by dates and/or like poor second cousins to other products – even including pies and the like.

Our expectations for Balkan Fresh Bureks are a good deal loftier.

After all, the place seems to have a proud manifesto encapsulated in its very name.

We’re not disappointed.

The place itself is a modest but pleasant cafe, already doing brisk business – both eat-in and take-away – even though it’s still before the noonish hour.

But so serious are they about their bureks and their freshness, that they’re not even on display – that honour sits with sweeties alone, such as bakalava and tulumbi, syrup-drenched doughnuts akin to rum baba or gulab jamun and of which we also grab a very delicious couple.


There’s only three flavours of burek – cheese, spinach (with cheese) and meat (with onion).

Full square and circle/scroll bureks lob in the mid-$20 range. Individual slices are $7 to eat in or $6 as takeaway.

As our party includes a grubby and barefoot boy straight from a rugby game, and as we’ve got some homeward driving to do before we can really relax into the weekend, we grab a couple of takeaway slices to join our doughnuts and hit the road.

At home, our slices are wrapped in foil and gently warmed in the oven before we split the goodies between us.

These are superb bureks.

The flaky pastry is rich and buttery, yet also supple and even elastic.

Bennie prefers the more robust flavour of the meat number, although his dad finds it rather plain and apparently lacking in the advertised onion.

The spinach number is, by contrast, too mild for Bennie but his dad digs the extra colours and textures of fresh spinach and smooth cheese. That’s cheese as in bland – this is your ricotta, so there’s none of the salty bite of fetta going on here.

And at $7 a slice, this is bargain territory – after our lunch we’re both fully full, despite eating only the equivalent of a single slice each.

Dang, we sure wish this place was closer to home and not a mere rugby stopover in a season soon to be ending.