How many restaurants would begin business on Christmas Eve? Kathmandu Cafe is doing it, and serving both lunch and dinner.
“Welcome to the world of dal, bhat and tarkari (lentil, rice and curry), a popular meal prepared twice daily in every family’s home throughout Nepal,” the menu declares.
“When my wife and I first visited Asheville in late 2000, we fell in love with the Smoky Mountains (hills to us!),” explains Manoj and Sushila Lama, the restaurant’s owners. “We immediately decided to move and make Asheville our home. We opened our retail shop, Himalayas Import, which offers fair trade artifacts and handicrafts in the Battery Park area of downtown. Wanting to share more of our culture with Asheville, we decided to introduce our traditional cuisine from the Himalayas, ensuring that you will not miss even one single spice.”
Lunches run $6.50 to $11 without drinks. Currently, the menu lists chai (tea), a yoghurt/mango drink and sodas. Manoj hopes to be able to serve wine and beer soon.
Dinner entrees run $9.50 to $15. A quick look at just a couple of the vegetarian entrees includes:
• Aloo, bodi, tama (potato, black-eyed peas, bamboo shoots simmered in curry sauce and Himalayan herbs)
• Vege chau chau (Pan fried soft noodles and vegetables with fresh ginger and garlic)
• Begun bharta (clay oven-roasted eggplant curry cooked in slow heat with fresh ginger garlic, tomato and fresh ground garam masala).
There are also chicken, lamb and seafood entrees; thali (combination meals); tandoori bread and Nepali desserts, not to mention appetizers, soups and salads.
Manoj is excited about the restaurant’s clay oven. The dinner menu offers six specialty items, many of which have been marinated overnight in homemade yogurt and fresh ground spices.
The restaurant is located at 90 Patton Ave., the former location of Sugo. Call 252-1080 for more information.