Everest is a little gem hidden away in a pretty wretched restaurant row of ramshackle buildings, so don’t be surprised by the surroundings. The menu consists of northern Indian and Nepalese dishes (hence the name). The owner, Raj, is a very sociable and diligent person who works hard to keep his little restaurant tidy and pleasant. He’s a bit of a ham for the camera and loves to pose for what I call his “fire shot” so don’t be shy about asking him for photos/video.
Raj’s customer service is off the hook. We drove into Belmopan on Dec. 27 at 7pm only to find that everything was closed. We had found Everest on TripAdvisor and didn’t have high hopes that it would be open given the creepy deserted pitch blackness of the area, but we tried anyway. We thought we were lost until we saw a small pool of light near the end of a small strip of closed restaurants. Raj was actually shutting down, but delightedly re-opened his restaurant when he saw us. Talk about customer service! He totally saved our butts from some hangry unpleasantness!
With its bright blue paint, hanging plants, and clean, brightly lit environment, the ambiance of the little restaurant is cheerful, casual, and cozy. Particularly compared to the other ramshackle buildings in the row, it’s clear that Raj went to great lengths to make his establishment stand out. He also offers free Wi-Fi, which is unexpected in such a location.
Raj brought out complimentary papadum along with coconut, tamarind, and sesame chutneys, all of which were delicious (especially the coconut). Not sure if the complimentary bit is the norm or if we just got lucky since no one else was around, but we were happy to partake!
What We Ordered
- Veggie Thali
- Lamb Curry
- Garlic Naan
- Mango Lassi
The veggie thali and lamb curry were both delicious and plentiful. I particularly liked the cauliflower while Alex appreciated both the cauliflower and dal. While both dishes seemed authentic, the garlic naan, unfortunately, suffered since Raj doesn’t have a tandoori oven in which to make a really proper naan. While flavorful, the texture was soggy and chewy and I’m not sure that I would order it again. The mango lassi was a bit different from what I’m used to in the US, and much less sweet than usual, but was still refreshing in the heat and humidity.
Post dinner, Raj again surprised us with complimentary tasty masala chai teas that included black pepper and cardamom. Delicious!
While Indian restaurants generally have mukhwas in a little bowl near the exit (a mix of seeds and spices, often including fennel and anise to help digestion and freshen the breath after the meal), Raj instead served a sweet paan that was excellent: a mixture that included coconut, fennel, rose, raisins, and cardamom among others, all drizzled with honey and wrapped in a betel nut leaf. Awesome!