Walking into Tawa Food is a bit like walking into a tiny factory. They are very attentive and friendly here, but the work of making bread never stops in the back, as two or three women are rolling out dough and frying it up for the packages you see in the photo below. It seems that quite a few nearby residents and businesses come in here and buy their products, as a steady stream of people have done just as much on my two visits.
It is easy to feel at home here despite all of this. You might feel like you are in the way a bit, but don't fear, they are happy for the sit down business. There are three tables, and not much room, but that just makes it more intimate and centers you in the middle of all the action.
A lot of English signs have been put up since my first visit, probably in response to their newfound success and various coverage.
The momos ($5, below) here will rival any in the city. You can get them frozen in beef, vegetable, and cheese to take home, but chicken seems to be the only variety they have ready to cook in house. When you do eat them here, they are amazingly fresh, full of juice, and definitely a must have for any table.
Make sure to add the orange chili sauce for dipping.
Dosas are something you usually see at southern Indian restaurants, but Tawa has added a big sign outside reading "Dosa Hut" so I figured I would give their rendition a try. The masala dosa ($5, below) is cut into sections, something I have not seen done before, and served with an average chutney and a tomato achar, making it a bit more Nepalese. The ingredients inside the dosa are good, with fresh onions leading the taste buds.
I also wanted to give the kati rolls a try, so we ordered the paneer kati roll ($5, below), which surprisingly arrived cold. Since they are constantly making the paratha bread here, it did not make sense to me that it would arrive in a piece that was not hot and fresh. That being said, it was absolutely delicious, with the cheese mixing with a potent herbal sauce they make. If this was inside of a fresh paratha, it would be one of those foods you come back for week after week.
The menu is split into two parts, with the more widely eaten kati rolls and dosas on one page and traditional Nepalese on another. For an introduction (after the momos of course), try any "K-2" plate for a variety of dipping sauces, meats, and curry to eat.
They also serve a milky tea ($1) here that is not nearly as buttery as some you might find in Nepalese or Tibetan restaurants, and extremely good. It is served in the iconic NYC coffee cup, and washes down everything very well.
37-38 72nd Street, Jackson Heights NY
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