Students returning to the University of Connecticut this past weekend may have noticed a new restaurant added to the businesses in Storrs Center. Kathmandu Kitchen and Bar–serving Indian and Nepalese cuisine–opened in early August and has been quite the hype.
A few nights ago I decided to check it out with some friends. Upon entering we were immediately greeted by the bartender and a server came out to seat us.
The bar and dining area are in separate rooms, but connected. For a weeknight, it was surprising to see almost every seat in the dining room taken. It was disappointing, however, that the walls lacked any décor.
The menu is quite overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with Indian food. I’ve only had it once before, so it was difficult trying to decide what to order. What I did like though is that the menu is split between Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian meals. I don’t eat meat so it made it very simple to know what part of the menu I should be looking at. Kathmandu also offers a variety of domestic and Indian beers ranging from $4-10.
Between the three of us we started with the Aloo Tikki (three mashed potato patties dipped in chickpea batter and then deep fried, $4.99) and Himalayan Samosa (two crispy pastry shells stuffed with spiced potato and peas, $4.99).
While we waited for our food we were served large lentil crackers with different sauces, which appeared to be pickled peppers, mint chutney and tamarind chutney. The lentil crackers are an acquired taste; I was not too fond of them.
The Aloo Tikki was delicious, especially drizzled with the tamarind chutney. For such a small appetizer it was very filling. I personally did not like the Himalayan Samosas, but one of my friends enjoyed and said it was “fried well and not too oily.”
For an entrée we chose the Tofu Coconut Curry (tofu cooked with coconut creamy sauce with classic Indian spices, $12.99) served with rice. We also ordered a side of Garlic Naan, it resembles pita bread and was seasoned with garlic and cilantro ($3.99).
I am very particular with how tofu is cooked, and I must say Kathmandu knows what they are doing. The garlic naan was so doughy and warm I could not stop myself from eating it.
Hours: lunch and dinner 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every night; bar services open until 2 a.m. Friday thru Saturday and until 1 a.m. Sunday thru Thursday. Lunch buffet is available 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kathmandu Kitchen is located on 33 Wilbur Cross Way #103 (across from Amazon@Storrs). The restaurant also offers delivery and to-go boxes.
TL;DR: Grade B. The food is great, but finding the right thing to order can be difficult because the menu is extensive. Prices for entrees are more toward the expensive side, but the portions are large so it’s worth every penny. The atmosphere (décor and lighting) could be better.