Once in a while, we feel trapped in a sea of ordinary looking restaurants lodged in the bowels of malls. Nizang promised nothing of that. The restaurant is located in the back of a housing estate along Dongchang Lu in Lujiazui. A short stroll past apartments and small shops will land you in front of Nizang’s blazing neon signboard.
Enter through a stone-cobbled pathway and flickering bamboo trees to the soundtrack of quiet running water, you will find the interior colorfully decorated by Nepalese cloth banners, lanterns and statues.
Nizang offers North Indian and Nepalese cuisine, of which the differences, the restaurant’s manager, a kind, bald Nepalese gent, assured me, are diminutive. Given geography, the friendly manager cheekily suggests that it is actually Nepalese cuisine that has influenced North Indian food. Since he was offering samples of his personal beer brew to all his guests, who’s going to argue with historical veracities?
We started off with a delicious paneer chili (RMB40), an appetizer of fried paneer cubes mixed with cottage cheese, capsicums and onion. For the main course, we had the perennial chicken kebab (RMB45) which was lukewarm. The lamb fried rice (RMB30) is something we recommend for it was simple but the ingredients offered a distinct taste that traveled evenly through the yellow rice. I thought the palek paneer (RMB35), creamed spinach and cottage cheese was overly salty. We managed to sample the chicken wings (RMB40), prawn chilly (RMB50) and fish curry (RMB55) and concluded all were equally palatable.
The curries are supposedly Nizang’s specialty, so make sure to order that. As are Nizang’s personal beer brews (yellow, dark or fruity) which taste quite similar to the German Hoegarden.
Overall, Nizang rates higher on atmosphere than food. The fare was tasty but the selection was not mind-blowing. The best part of Nizang has to be its spacious outdoor lawn, perfect for al fresco drinks, dining and parties, something we’ll consider the next time.
Note on delivery/takeout: If you live or work close by, be sure to pick up a takeout menu. A quick flip reveals that the dishes listed are on the modest end of the pricing curve. They are also listed in Sherpa’s Pudong Guide under “Himalaya” restaurant. Go figure.
Nizang Garden Restaurant & Bar
500 Dongchang Lu (near Pudong Nan Lu, Dongchang Metro Station Exit No. 4)