Last modified: 08/11/2020
Indian cuisine is one of our favorites, and we have been eating a lot of Indian and Nepalese food over the last couple of years. So, we are not easily impressed and have gotten quite the hang of comparing restaurants and dishes in Luxembourg. We have a couple of restaurants which we enjoy (Kiran in Hesperange or Little India in Bettembourg) but one restaurant which definitely stands out from the crowd is Pokhara.
When checking for "the best restaurants in Luxembourg" online on sites such as Tripadvisor, Pokhara will come up as one of the best restaurants in the whole country! Located in Rodange, in the south of Luxembourg, the restaurant is about a 20 minutes drive from Esch and 30 minutes from Luxembourg City. This place is always worth a visit for us, no matter the drive. Parking spots are usually available in the surrounding streets or in the car park (Parking Blobierg) right across from the restaurant, and they also have a terrace in the back of the restaurant. For more information, check out their Facebook or Instagram!
This Indian-Nepalese restaurant actually opened its door about 10 years ago and has become an institution in Rodange. Run by a husband and wife team, they have been serving amazing quality food ever since, working hard to provide their customers with a great food experience. Indian cuisine actually offers something for everybody, meat lovers, vegetarians, vegans and people with allergies. My family loves to get Indian food because each of us will find something on the menu. Should you have any questions or requests, all you need to do is to ask. Whether you would like a different sauce with your dish, no butter or cream or extra spiciness, they will try their best to make it happen. We have yet to find something on their menu which we don't like.
Papadums and Dips
In most Indian restaurant you will be offered a little snack ahead of your meal with papadums, little crispy disks usually made from either lentil or chickpea flour. These are cooked in the Tandoor, a hot clay oven, until crispy and are served alongside a couple of dipping sauces. Pokhara serves a sweet mango chutney, a cooling yogurt-mint drip, seasoned onions as well as spicy pickled vegetables. Just break up your papadums into bite-sized pieces and dip in.
Green Chili Pokora
One of our favorite starters are Green Chili Pakoras, green chilies filled with a spicy potato mixture, coated in a lentil flour batter and fried until crispy. Watch out, these can be extremely spicy but I really like the crispy batter, and the flavor combination of spices, fresh chili and potato. At Pokhara, this dish is served with a spicy sauce. As the chilies are already spicy, I would prefer a more cooling dipping sauce, such as a coconut chutney.
Tikka or also Tandoori dishes are served on a hot plate with meat, seafood and/or paneer, which have been marinated and grilled in the Tandoor. For this dish the paneer or chicken is coated in spices and grilled in the Tandoor before being served with some veggies and the curry sauce. The spiciness level of the seasoning as well as the curry sauce can be adapted to your liking, so don't hesitate to ask for mild, medium, spicy or very hot.
Dishes served on a hot plate usually come with a side of simple curry sauce. One reason why we were impressed by Pokhara is their basic curry sauce, it is just so rich and flavorful compared to those of other restaurants. The quality and taste of the curry sauce is a tell-sign for us for the overall quality of the restaurant. You can really taste the care that has been put into the sauce at Pokhara's.
Paneer is a fresh cheese, often found in Indian cuisine and made out of curdling milk with a fruit or vegetable acid. This cheese, like Halloumi, can be deep-fried or grilled without becoming gooey or runny but it's texture and flavor are much milder than its Cypriot counterpart. For me, paneer is a great alternative to meat and I love the combination of cheese, sauce and Indian bread.
Paneer at Pokhara is homemade and compared to store bought paneer just incredibly fluffy and it almost has a marshmallow-like texture. The owner was so kind to let me in on their secret, which of course I can't give away but in my humble opinion, this is the best paneer you will find around here.
Beef, Chicken or Paneer Chili is a specialty often found in Nepalese or Bhutanese cuisine and it is one of my favorite dishes. It combines traditional Indian as well as Chinese flavors. A deep, dark, flavorful gravy is made with soy sauce and chili sauce and is traditionally served with onions and capsicums. Whether you choose paneer or chicken as your protein, both are great options.
At Pokhara they also often add broccoli to the dish. I do not particularly care for broccoli in my sauce, I would be fine with only capsicums and onions. One thing I would like to see would be more fresh chilies in the sauce. If you want to make it extra spicy, you can ask for their special chili sauce, a paste made from fermented Nepalese chilies, which is incredibly spicy and has a very distinctive taste.
The beef chili might be one of the most expensive items on the menu at Pokhara's, but it certainly is one of their most special dishes and unlike any things I have eaten before. Very thin cut strips of beef are cooked through, making them quite dry, but they are crisped up and caramelized in the sauce that it in fact becomes a very interesting and enjoyable texture.
The chef's dish is a chicken-based dish with a flavorful tomato curry sauce and whatever veggies he has in his kitchen that day and it is somewhat similar to the Chili Chicken dish. If you are a bit scared that the Chili Chicken might be too spicy for you, this might be a good option as it gives you a lot of similar flavors but without the heat of the chili.
Grilled chicken from the tandoor in a creamy curry sauce with mango is one of Chris' favorites at Pokhara. Mango and spices are added to the basic curry sauce which makes the sauce sweet and savory at the same time. Many Indian restaurants may have similar menus and dishes, so, you might have seen dish this already on another menu, but let me tell you, it is nothing like the Chicken Mango at Pokhara! Whereas the sauces at other restaurants might have been somewhat comparable, this simply blows it out of the water, so rich and flavorful, also because they add only fresh mango puree!
I enjoy this dish with paneer instead of chicken. Even though it is not officially on the menu it is never an issue to switch out a sauce of a dish, all you need to do is ask. I would imagine that this dish is also really tasty with shrimps.
I personally can't have Indian food without Indian bread, aka naan. I gladly forego the rice and just have cheese, veggies, sauce and bread. That's my perfect combo. The classic is plain naan, a wheat flour bread which is traditionally baked by slapping the dough onto the side of the tandoor. It often comes in a teardrop shape. Just tear of a chunk and dip in, it's crispy and soft at the same time and provides a nice contrast of textures to the meal. Other great naan options are butter naan or garlic naan, served with fresh garlic and coriander.
Not officially in the menu but one of my favorites, chili naan. This bread usually comes in a round shape and is a bit thicker than the plain naan bread. Coated in a spicy chili paste and topped with fresh chilies, this bread packs a punch, so only order it if you are into spicy food.
For those who like to mix sweet and savory flavors, Peshwari naan might be a good option. A round naan bread, filled with finely chopped cashew nuts, almonds, coconut, pistachios, cherries and raisins. It could almost be a desert but it goes especially well with mild, saucy dishes.
After having Indian food I do sometimes like to get a nice, cooling desert. For chai tea lovers I can recommend getting a mango or pistachio kulfi, a sort of Indian spiced ice cream with mango or pistachios and spices. The warm chai flavors combined with the cold ice cream is a unique but tasty and refreshing combination. If you like buttermilk or yogurt drinks, I can only recommend you getting a glass of cooling mango lassi, an Indian yogurt drink with mango puree.
In or Out?
I agree with the many people online who have labeled Pokhara to be one of the best restaurants in Luxembourg. They cook their food fresh and put a lot of care and pride into their dishes. The taste is just a bit superior to other Indian restaurants in Luxembourg. Besides the good quality food, the friendliness of the service and the hard work of the owners and their staff is actually quite impressive. I have rarely seen such kind, welcoming and professional people, who also speak numerous languages. It is great to see them working as team to master all the work together.
One thing to note, please book your table ahead of time, at any time during the week because chances are high that they are fully booked, especially on weekends. They also to takeaways and deliveries in the area, so it might happen that you will need to wait a bit for your food. This is not necessarily your get-in-and-get-out place, just as with any other busy restaurant, you need to allow them some time to prepare your food. But let me make it abundantly clear, the food is absolutely worth waiting for.
Whether you are an Indian/Nepalese food lover, just curious about this exotic cuisine, maybe once had a bad experience with Indian food or already have a go-to Indian place; no matter what your answer might be, we can only recommend you to visit Pokhara!
Should you give Pokhara a go, please let us know what you think! Is there an even better Indian place out there which we have to try? We wanna know! Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org