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The Wasatch Front boasts a surprising amount of Indian restaurants. In the past, the best ones have been located primarily downtown or in the northern part of the Salt Lake Valley. In Everest Curry Kitchen, diners will find a hidden gem in a strip mall in south Sandy worth seeking out.

The vast menu features familiar Nepalese and Indian dishes such as curries, kormas and items baked in the tandoor clay oven. All regular menu items are served in beautiful copper bowls and typically come with a large dish of perfectly prepared basmati rice. Your server will ask if you'd like each entrée spiced at mild, medium or hot. We sampled each level and only really felt the heat at hot.

Because main dish portions are generously served family-style, it's easy to overlook the appetizers, which primarily involved fried items. The assorted snacks ($6.99) delivered a mix of vegetable and meat samosa and vegetable and chicken pakoda. The meat samosa ($3.49) stuffed with ground lamb and chicken came out steaming hot and full of earthy flavors.

A bowl of spinach soup ($2.89) tasted of fresh spinach but was also served lukewarm. Better was the basket of papadum ($1.79), or roasted lentil wafers, that was fresh and crispy and kept us munching until our orders of naan arrived.

Naan is often the sticking point of any Indian restaurant. If served burned or cold — which both happen frequently — it's a supremely disappointing experience. At Everest Curry Kitchen, it became apparent after several visits that customers could easily make a meal out of fresh hot naan ($1.89) alone. Served piping hot from the tandoor oven, the butter naan ($2.59) was judiciously brushed with butter and quite satisfying by itself or dipped in any of our entrée sauces. The garlic naan ($2.59), topped with chopped garlic and parsley, was less memorable to most of our dinner table but still perfectly cooked with just the right amount of smoky flavor from the tandoor.

At lunch, Everest Curry Kitchen offers a buffet ($8.99) from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and serves up a small selection of mostly chicken choices such as chicken coconut korma ($11.99) and chicken tikka masala ($11.99) along with savory saag paneer ($9.99) plus a few other options.

By far the better taste value, however, is to order full-size dishes off the menu for the freshest and broadest selection and the potential for leftovers to enjoy at home.

Across the menu, Everest Curry Kitchen artfully balances flavors, leaving no spice singularly standing out. Instead, the dishes all work in harmony rather than a huge hit of cinnamon or cardamom that overwhelms the palate.

Favorites included the chicken vindaloo ($10.99) ordered at the hot spice level that packed a punch but didn't overtake the onion, ginger and garlic highlighted in the dish. Lamb coconut korma ($12.99) came with plenty of tender lamb swimming in tangy tomato coconut cream sauce while lamb curry ($12.99) celebrated the moist meat with hints of curry and ginger but also pops of garlic and tomato.

A chicken shaslik dish ($12.99), served on a cast-iron skillet, showed creativity in the chicken breast marinade that supported the hot spiced tomato and green pepper gravy.

Everest Curry Kitchen's vegetable-forward offerings are plentiful including aloo gobhi ($9.99) featuring cauliflower and potatoes or a sweeter mango vegetable curry ($10.59).

The butter chicken ($11.99) wasn't as buttery or creamy as other versions I've enjoyed around the valley but the shrimp tikka masala ($12.99) delivered all the right notes of onion, cream and tomato studded with bell peppers and plump shrimp.

After a savory meal, turn to Everest Curry Kitchen's dessert menu for traditional selections such as kheer ($2.49), which is a sweetened rice pudding served cold, or gulaab jamun ($2.49) soaked in rose-flavored syrup. For something out of the ordinary, we ordered the housemade kulfi ($3.49), an ice cream made with pistachios, cashews and cardamom seeds, but felt the consistency was rather grainy.

While the restaurant offers a beer and wine menu, the better choice comes in bringing your own to pair with your curries or vindaloos. The restaurant has a fairly ingenious way of determining their wine corkage fee: It's 10 percent of your total bill. So, a bill of $80 would require an $8 corkage fee — which means you can drink some pretty wonderful wine from your own cellar with a couple of friends for a great deal!

Although the atmosphere is fairly nondescript at Everest Curry Kitchen, the restaurant is most impressive in the kitchen where well-spiced and hearty food is delivered by attentive staff — all secretly tucked away in Sandy. Namaste.

Heather L. King also writes for and can be found on social media @slclunches —


Everest Curry Kitchen

Food • HHHH

Mood • HH

Service • HH

Noise • b

Everest Curry Kitchen dishes up balanced and flavorful Indian food in Sandy.

Location • 68 E. 10600 South, Sandy; 801-571-4015

Hours • Open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 4 to 8 p.m.

Children's menu • No

Prices • $$

Liquor • Wine and beer

Corkage • 10 percent of the total bill

Reservations • Yes

Takeout • Yes

Wheelchair access • Yes

Outdoor dining • No

On-site parking • Yes

Credit cards • Yes