The Lumbini team: Anup, Lara, Jordy and Suresh

The Lumbini team: Anup, Lara, Jordy and Suresh

Only days after Victoria visited Lumbini, Nepal was devastated with a massive earthquake. Anup was relieved his parents in Kathmandu were safe, however they had lost many relatives and friends. All our wishes are with Anup’s loved ones and any other Hinterlanders who have been affected by the disaster.

By Victoria McGuin

Nepal has arrived in Maleny, in the form of Lumbini, the new restaurant at 11 Coral Street. The smells emanating as I arrived had my mouth watering instantly.

Head Chef Anup (whose full name is Parshuram Parajuli), brought his eight years of kitchen experience to Maleny just three months ago and word-of-mouth has seen business steadily grow. Indeed, as we talked, the restaurant was filling up for a rainy-day lunch.

Having never tried Nepalese food before, I asked what makes it unique?

“Dishes in Nepalese cuisine are generally healthier than most other South Asian gastronomy. We use less fats and more chunky vegetables, lean meats, pickled dishes and salads.” Anup explained.

I sampled Apple Chat, a stuffed veg puff with tamarind, apple chutney raita and fried lentil. It was divine. In fact, much of the menu looked incredibly inviting and I regretted only being there for a short visit.

Anup has plenty of experience cooking his food in the big cities, from Melbourne to Brisbane’s West End; so what made him come to Maleny?

“Quite a lot of my customers in Brisbane were from Maleny and they used to say we must come here,” he smiled. “Our friends have a restaurant in Golden Beach, so we came up for a look.”

They immediately liked the area. “It reminds me a little of Nepal. The mountains and hills around us. Even the cold weather!

“And the people are so united. They say hello to each other, go to festivals, celebrate together – like Nepalese people.”

Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, Lumbini is BYO, “although we may be offering Nepalese beer soon, as many customers are curious to try it!”

Go to www.lumbini.com.au for menu options and more details, or pop in between 11 and 3pm, or from 5pm til late.