Sunday Nepali buffet at Katmandu Spice
On a rare kid-free Sunday afternoon, we went to the Nepali buffet at Katmandu Spice in Arlington. It was pleasant, a good price, the food was enjoyable but I'd like to come back and try the menu rather than repeat the buffet.
Among the buffet items: Lentil "donuts", yellow lentil soup, veg & noodles, veg curry, mustard greens (spiciest dish of all), goat stew, tandoori chicken, rice with a pea or two in it, salad, and vermicelli (I think) soaked in milk, nuts, and raisins. That's most of the buffet although I may have left one item off. There were also several sauces, per se, including two yoghurt-based ones that were not spicy. One of the yoghurt sauces was like a typical raita, the other one had a tart, almost sour base which I thought was a wonderful contrast to the spices and heat in the food.
I am a spice-wuss. That said, the only dish I couldn't eat was the chopped mustard greens. The food was between a mild and medium level of heat. I loved the combo of spices in the goat stew, very fragrant and tasty and the meat was tender. This was the best dish, I think. The tandoori chicken was very dry and I didn't enjoy it very much. The veg curry was quite nice and contained potato, cauliflower, zucchini, and carrot. DC loves heat and liked the brown sauce. He said the yellow lentil soup was very good but warned me it would be too spicy for me.
The waiter was very efficient and friendly. There were several tables seated at 1:30 but the place was emptying out around 2.
We would have liked to order something to drink but were not brought a menu or asked about beverages so we just drank water. I guess it wasn't important enough to us to pursue.
The buffet was $10/person. A good value.
A nice afternoon out, all in all.
Finally tried the weekday lunch buffet (thanks Striper). It was quite good, though more "standard" than the few weekend ones I've had. (Prav, the weekend dishes may sound ordinary, but many of the flavors aren't--especially the mustard greens which were there every time I've been.) Vegetarians take note: the vegetables were the highlight. Pakoras, a thick multi-bean soup, very spicy mushrooms, and green beans with potatoes (not boring *at all*). Their tandoori chicken has never done it for me, and butter chicken was ok but suffered from the curse of the skinless boneless breast. A dessert I forget the name of, one of those fried balls in syrup deals--pretty good and I'm not a fan generally. A fresh naan too. Also some shredded salad that I didn't try, too busy gorging on mushrooms and beans/potatoes. $9.
Yes, they do seem to forget about asking you what you want to drink; we asked for a menu with drink options and were given a wine/beer list.
I thought the buffet was delicious (almost the same exact menu items as the OP listed) and very reasonably priced at $10. I'm not sure how authentic the Nepalese menu was but they do advertise themselves as Himalayan Fusion, so I really didn't expect highly authentic (i.e. Tandoori chicken). It seemed more Indian fusion to me, but again very good.
I have to say that the goat curry was much better than the goat curry we had at an Indian restaurant in JP the night before, however, it was still quite chewy. I guess I'm just used to Mexican-style stewed goat and the meat is cooked so long that it just falls off the bone, or maybe it was a different cut of meat, not sure. It was tasty but not tender.
The Taj Mahal beer was delicous as well.