Thursday, August 5, 2010

Review: Kathmandu Cafe

My parents and I went to Kathmandu Cafe the other day in Asheville. I unfortunately didn't bring my camera home for the short trip so I don't have any pictures. The restaurant itself is interesting - it's painted orange with pictures from India, Nepal, Tibet and the Himalayans all over the place. There is even a display of a couple of different salts from the area. All of this adds to the atmosphere immensely, giving an idea of where the chefs and owners are coming from.

We were underwhelmed by the service. The waitress took a while to bring my mom's ginger ale and when she did it was flat, she neglected to mention a Himalayan brew that wasn't on the menu, and we were seated at a rickety table (not her fault, but I would include that in the "service" of the restaurant). But, we decided we should take it all with a grain of salt as the spoiled Americans we are.

Least I throw you off with my bellyaching of the service: we absolutely loved this restaurant. My mom ordered Samosa, a "highly spiced potato and green pea filled pastry deep fried in vegetable oil." I ordered a bread filled with "mildly spiced" potato and a clay oven roasted chicken (2 breasts, 2 wings, and 2 legs), which arrived to our table sizzling hot. All of the food, combined with rice, chutney, and spiced yogurt, blended perfectly. The spices and the heat were impeccably balanced with the chutney and yogurt (and hot Chai tea I ordered). Alone each portion of the meal would probably have been barely memorable, but all together the meal became a real experience. My parents and I all ended up eating with our hands, our nails dyed with turmeric after the meal.

The kicker of all of this: it cost less than $30. We ordered a glass of wine, tea, 2 beers, a whole chicken served on a bed of carrots, onions, and cilantro, bread, and Samosa which was plenty of food to feed us all. The drinks ended up probably being half of our meal total.

Overall, I loved Kathmandu Cafe. I would suggest they fix their tables and skill up their staff on being personable, but really they don't have to. I would return again and again to eat there, even if I had to eat on the floor.

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