Very few of us will ever get to dine in a restaurant in Kathmandu, Nepal, but lucky for us, Cafemandu - Flavors of Nepal restaurant has brought all those flavors right here to Irving. Let’s be fair, some of us (raises hand) don’t even know where Nepal is on the map. But if you’ve heard of Mount Everest, it’s the highest point in the Himalayan mountain range, which lies between Nepal and Tibet.
Kathmandu (pronounced "cat" "man" "do") is the country’s capital, and it rhymes with the restaurant’s name (pronounced "caff" "mandu"). The popular Irving eatery is known for delicious momos (a kind of dumpling). It’s also been mentioned as one of the area’s Top 100 Restaurants in the Dallas Observer.
When founder Dipesh Acharya wanted to share the best foods from his home country, he started gathering recipes and eventually launched a market stall at the Dallas Farmers Market. Demand for the specialty dishes grew, and Acharya opened Cafemandu in 2018. It’s always been his intent to serve food that’s authentic and comparable to what you’d be served in a restaurant in Nepal. Now Acharya and chef Sailesh Bajracharya see familiar faces in their regulars who’ve come to love this cuisine.
To get a taste of traditional Nepalese food, you’ll probably want to start with those momos. Cafemandu offers several different types of momos, ranging from simple dumplings to spicy sauced pockets of meat.
Red Soup Momo
Steamed Himalayan or Deep-Fried Momos are made with pork, chicken or a vegan filling, and are a great introduction to the cuisine. Kathmandu Jhol (pronounced "joel" - with a soft j) Momos are smothered in a spicy sauce and are exclusively served at Cafemandu.
If you want to turn up the heat, try the Chili-C Momos, which are tossed with onions, bell pepper, tomato and tangy chili sauce. They’re the most popular item on the menu. If you like it even hotter, get the Jyanmara Momo (pronounced "jen ma rah") made with some of the spiciest peppers in Asia. Jyanmara actually means assassin, so you've been warned.
C-momo (Chili Momo)
An assuming space in a local strip shopping center, Cafemandu is a counter service restaurant. Chalkboard menus under a colorful mural outline all the food options. And while there are always at least a half-dozen types of momos, that’s not all they offer.
Another specialty at Cafemandu is stick food - something that would be served by street vendors in Nepal. Choose from chargrilled chicken, pork, or goat or deep fried sausage, potatoes or tofu on a stick. You can order these individually or get them served on a plate with a salad and puffed rice.
The menu also includes curries served with Basmati rice or noodle dishes with your choice of proteins. Khumbu Thukpa (Soup Noodles) are a tasty comfort food and pan fried noodles or fried rice are also served vegan style or with chicken, pork or goat.
Nepali Street Style Pan Fried Noodles with Vegetables and Other Proteins
While experiencing this flavorful food, you probably also want to try the Himalayan coffee. It’s perfect after your meal, or you can buy a bag to brew at home.