Flash-grilled: Arjun Gurung

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Arjun Gurung chef founder of Nepali street food concept Tipan Tapan on his first industry job and favourite food and drink pairing

Related tags Food Hall Street food Chef Arcade Nepalese food

The chef founder of Nepali street food concept Tipan Tapan, which operates out of Arcade's two London food halls, on his first industry job and favourite food and drink pairing.

What was your first industry job?
Kitchen assistant at a high street brand in Basingstoke.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
I am passionate about photography so maybe I would have got into that.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Lennox Hastie, running a restaurant like Firedoor [in Sydney, Australia] is a dream of mine.

What’s your pet hate in the kitchen?
Bad attitude.

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
Understated explosion of flavours.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
Nepali cuisine is still new to many and trying to get the customers to understand and appreciate the complex flavours of let’s say mustard oil tempered with fenugreek seeds isn’t always easy.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
My mum’s jimbu (Himalayan sun dried chives) with black lentil and rice.

À la carte or tasting menu?
Tasting menu.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
Taas from Bhetghat restaurant in Chitwan, Nepal.

What’s your favourite fast food joint?
Don’t have a favourite, but I often find myself at McDonalds for a quick bite after work.

What’s the dish you wish you’d thought of?
Smash burger.

MasterChef or Great British Menu?
MasterChef: The Professionals.

What’s the most overrated food?
Corn dog.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
DJ Khaled, I think we would smash a lot of momos together at Arcade Battersea.

What’s your earliest food memory?
Dad’s barbecue pork belly at the family get together in Maura beach, Brunei.

Twitter or Instagram?

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Almost drowned in a fast flowing river trying to help a friend who was drowning even though I wasn’t a good swimmer, at the end he ended up saving me.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
On a walk with Truffle (my dog).

What’s your tipple of choice?
Tongba – a homemade millet-based alcoholic beverage from Nepal.

What’s your favourite food and drink pairing?
Sukuti and beer- Sukuti is smoked buffalo or goat meat fried or cooked in onions, tomatoes and hint of spices is a perfect Tipan Tapan to have with a cold beer.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Keep your head down, be the hardest worker, master your craft but enjoy the process. Cook a ton of staff meals which will enhance your cooking ability. Cooking staff meals and seeing my colleagues enjoying the food has always been one of the best memories.

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