Nepal natives Rita Rai and Tashi Sherpa fell in love with Wichita when they moved here to study aerospace engineering at Wichita State University.
“All the people are really friendly and very welcoming,” Rai said. “The only thing that was missing: The city doesn’t have Nepali food, and we wanted to introduce that to the city.”
In early December, they, some partners and family will open Himali Eats at 3238 E. Douglas, which is next to the Kitchen Place and just down from Vora Restaurant European at Uptown Landing.
Initially, the restaurant will focus on a type of dumpling known as momo, which is regularly served in Nepal and a number of surrounding areas.
“This is a very popular food back home,” Rai said.
The dumplings look like a typical Chinese dumpling but have Nepali spices. Rai compares them to Indian flavors, though she said they are less spicy.
“But you still get the essence of all the spices we put in,” she said. “These are very addictive, so you cannot have just one.”
Rai said each dumpling, from its wrapper to its filling, is made by hand.
“It takes a lot of time.”
The momos have a variety of fillings, some with protein, some with vegetables.
There are deep-fried and pan-fried momos along with some that are steamed.
One type, called a C momo, has a special sauce and stir-fried vegetables.
Rai and Sherpa now have careers in the aerospace industry and will continue them while Sherpa’s sister and brother-in-law run the restaurant. There are two other transplanted Nepal natives who also are partners in the restaurant.
Craig Simon of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal for the 1,840-square-foot space.
The restaurant will seat about 30 people.
Along with the momos, there will be beer on the menu as well.
Rai said it will be a fast-casual restaurant that’s open for lunch and dinner.
Himali Eats is named for what Rai called the Himalayan lifestyle.
Look for more details closer to when the restaurant opens in early December.
Article from The Wichita Eagle