Cabbie name: Nyima Tsering
Home country: Nepal
Currently resides: Elmhurst, Queens
Years in New York: 10
Years driving a taxi: 5
What he misses about Nepal: Spending time outside
Best thing to do in New York: Play basketball with friends
Worst thing to do in New York: Drive a cab
Favorite restaurant: Hanami
How he found it: Other cabbies
Why he likes it: The food is “just as good” as it is in Nepal, and it’s cheaper than Yak Restaurant (on 74th and Roosevelt in Jackson Heights).
What he orders: Steamed chicken momos ($7.50 for eight) – with chives, ginger and plenty of clarified butter – are his pick. He also likes Khashi thali ($11.95) – a combo platter of goat curry, black lentil dal, rice, sauteed chard, cauliflower stir-fry and spicy pickles.
Why I liked it: Friendly (if leisurely) service, Nepali folk music, mouth-watering momos and a chili sauce with tomato and timur (Himalayan black pepper that the restaurant’s owners smuggle in from Nepal) that’ll make you swoon.
If you go: Skip the sushi and head straight to the Nepali dishes on last page of the menu.
Hanami Japanese and Nepali Restaurant
39-11 Queens Blvd. – Sunnyside
Open: 7 days a week for lunch and dinner
Credit cards accepted