‘It was our dream to put up Everest Kitchen’

Posted on Nov 08 2019

Partners in life and in business, Chola B. Gharti and Laxmi Shrestha, opened the first and only Nepalese/Mediterranean restaurant called Everest Kitchen on Saipan in 2013. (Photos by Bea Cabrera)

Everest Kitchen president Laxmi Shrestha believes that if you work hard and hold tight to a vision or a dream, life will give you what your heart desires.

For almost six years since Everest Kitchen opened on Micro Beach Road in Garapan, Shrestha lives everyday with intent, purpose, and sharing good things from where she came from.

“My husband Chola and I are from Nepal. He came to Saipan in 1997 and I followed in 2003 and worked in a household. A year later, I transferred to Nikko Hotel and worked as a cook and even if we worked for somebody else every day, our dream of having our own business someday kept us going,” she said.

“I grew up in my mother’s restaurant in Nepal and had a small restaurant too after Chola and I got married but we closed it to come here. Comments from friends on Saipan when I cook for them were always encouraging so their feedback and our experience in running a business in Nepal gave us the confidence to give it a go,” she added.

Everest Kitchen serves Nepalese and Mediterranean food which is considered the healthiest diet in the world. “As much as possible, we serve healthy food starting from our soup, salad, na’ans, main dishes to desserts. We do not use MSG or any artificial flavors as I make our own spices to get true flavors,” Shrestha said.

“The community loves it because we have fresh local vegetables and out of 12 dishes that we serve at the buffet, we only have two dishes that would have chicken or fish,” she added.

Popular dishes include chicken curry, chicken masala, and butter chicken. Shrestha said that when they organize their everyday menu, they do not think of dishes that they like. “We put out dishes that the community wants and that’s how we maintain our quality and business structure-giving what our customers want.”

Most customers of Everest Kitchen are locals. “Even if we have slow days, it is still not bad because we have a following. About 35% of the people who come to our restaurant everyday are the same individuals. We are not really worried about tourists but we also get one or two of them in some days,” she said.

“We are a point that more than earning a profit, giving good service comes first. Our service comes from the heart and not from the pocket. Of course, we need to earn to survive but it is not desperate that we will compromise what the customers wants as they are family to us,” she added.

Shrestha’s food is not only good for the body but for the soul. “The food that we serve is an extension of our culture. We cook it like how mother cooks, not commercial just all simple and authentic home cooking,” she said.

“Before we opened in 2013, I always talked about the future and say I hope to open a restaurant on Saipan someday. Now that it’s here, I talk about the future with hope that our food continues to nourish and keep the community healthy in the years to come,” she added.

Everest Kitchen is open Monday to Saturday with its lunch buffet for only $13 from 11am to 2pm. Special celebrations or parties are accommodated at night via reservations. For more information, call (670) 233-2688 or go to Facebook: Everest Kitchen

“We do not serve dishes that we like rather we serve food that the community wants,” said Everest Kitchen president Laxmi Shrestha.

Bea Cabrera
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.
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