Mt. Everest India’s Cuisine
Palak Paneer, Sweet Rice, Pakora, Vegetable Samosa, Aloo Baingan, Raita
Goat Curry, Tandoori Chicken, Malai Kofta
Chili Chicken, Yellow Dal, Chicken Tikka Masala
Located on West Sahara Avenue and easily overshadowed as it sits low in the Mariana’s Supermarket parking lot, Mt. Everest India’s Cuisine has been serving Las Vegas a wide variety of Northern Indian specialties since 2009, the full dinner menu replaced by an $11.99 lunch buffet 7-days a week from eleven o’clock until 3pm.
Family owned and operated, the space essentially a fifty-seat box with limited lighting thanks to heavy curtains, those entering Mt Everest will pick up the scent of Cumin and Turmeric before even opening the street-facing front door, a staff member tucked into a hostess booth to the right offering greetings while one of two young men offer a choice of seating options.
A simple operation a lunch, Televisions displaying Indian Music Videos providing entertainment above steamer trays containing approximately two-dozen choices, it is with a basket of Butter Naan that the meal starts as diners gather plates and small bowls, the majority of the protein centered around Chicken though a look at the dinner menu shows a much greater variety including Lamb and Seafood.
Admittedly a little underwhelmed by the Naan, the two wedges provided flatter than that found elsewhere and a bit dry when taken on their own, the Bread nonetheless proved serviceable for scooping up tangy Raita or creamy Spinach with small chunks of springy Cheese mixed in, the vibrant orange Rice as fluffy as Basmati with a hint of Nuts and light Sugar that went very nicely with the baked Eggplant and Potato dish as well as the spicier flavors to follow.
Finding Potato and Onion Samosa’s downright addictive while similarly flavored Pakora came across a bit too oily, Goat Curry was a welcomed sight that packed a lot of heat around tender bone-in chunks of Meat that proved to be worth the effort, the Tandoori Chicken varying from piece to piece in terms of moistness while the Malai Kofta ate something like big Gnocchi in a base rife with Onions and Tomatoes in a creamy base.
Drawn to the Chili Chicken against better judgement, the fear of indigestion at work looming, it was surprising how well Mt. Everest’s Chefs managed to balance the Peppers with pungent notes of Garlic and Ginger, the Yellow Dal scooped up with Naan clearly the source of a lot of the Turmeric mentioned earlier while ubiquitous Tikka Masala featured big slices of Chicken Breast bathed in a sauce milder than many with a notable linger of Coconut.
Finishing off the rest of the Naan with Mango Chutney, the Jelly-like spread also a nice addition to Rice Pudding served room temperature with restrained Sugar, those looking for something sweeter should turn their attention to the hot tray of Gajar Halwa tucked amidst the savory items, the natural sweetness of ground Carrots ramped up by Fruit, Nuts and Cardamom – basically liquid Carrot Cake without the flour.
THREE AND A HALF STARS: Admittedly no expert on ethnic Buffets of any sort, the low prices that attract many raising suspicion about ingredients, Mt. Everest executes the majority of its dishes well while offering a good variety at a fair price, the intrinsic limitations of serving from steamer trays mitigated by a good crowd that sees items replenished frequently.
RECOMMENDED: Chili Chicken, Malai Kofta, Goat Curry, Vegetable Samosa, Gajar Halwa.
AVOID: Leg pieces of Tandori Chicken were really dry, as was the Naan. Pakora were oily.
TIP: Buffet Lunch 11-3, Dinner Menu 5-10 daily.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.