Editor's note: This is the fourth of a series of 4 mini articles written by Yara Elian, a High School Senior, providing an insight into how local Bay Area restaurateurs are coping in these uncertain economic times caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. If you are local to the Bay Area, please support these featured restaurants. If you are not local to Bay Area, please support your local restaurants- they really are in need of our patronage!
Born in the Himalayan Country of Nepal, Surya has loved to cook since childhood. He would learn all of his early cooking techniques from his mother, whenever he had time. He left Nepal in 2008 to study abroad in Denmark. In order to cover his tuition fees, as well as continue practicing his cooking interests, Surya began working at a Japanese restaurant. He started as a dishwasher and slowly worked his way up until he finally became the main chef and manager of that restaurant. In addition to his job at the Japanese restaurant, he also worked as a server at the Radisson BLU Scandinavian Hotel where the Japanese restaurant he worked at was located. This gave him the opportunity to learn additional skills in the hospitality and food service industry.
After receiving his degree in Denmark in 2010, Surya and his wife immigrated to the United States. Though he came with the intention of opening a restaurant business, he waited until 2014, further honing his skills by working at different styles of restaurants, like Mediterranean, Japanese, and Nepalese. Surya finally opened his Himalayan cuisine restaurant in Concord, California. Although it was challenging at first, Surya remarked that he was not afraid of challenges. He overcame all obstacles, one by one, and kept pursuing his dream. “I am blessed to have had the support of my family and my community,” he said, “I love that I can be my own boss and that I can give jobs to other people in my community. I hire the locals, the immigrants, and I love to give jobs to students- I know it is hard for them.”
Before the virus crisis, Himalayan Cuisine was a venue for all sorts of parties: graduation, birthdays, marriage celebrations, as well as catering to local offices and the Nepalese community. Surya’s catering services are well known in his community because of his ability to create authentic Nepali dishes with real Nepali flavors.
Kopila, Surya’s wife, helps out at her husband’s restaurant as well by managing all of the restaurant’s business details. While the crisis has usurped 70% of Surya’s income, none of his employees were let go. The chef makes sure to take care of his employees as if they were a part of his family.
For those who have never tried Himalayan Cuisine, Surya recommends ordering the traditional Nepali Chicken or Veggie Momos. He also recommends the Chicken Choila, and the chicken or lamb Sekuwa, that he prepares as it would be back in Nepal. His customers’ favorites are the butter chicken, garlic naan, goat curry, and Tandoori chicken There are more options for vegetarian and vegan customers as well.
"Yo Ati Mitho Chha" means "It is very delicious" in Nepali, and Surya's cuisine certainly is!
2118 Willow Pass Rd Ste 400, Concord, CA 94520
(925) 490 3344