A Taste Of India, Nepal In Kapa‘a

Sampada and Mahima Paney of Chutney restaurant

Introduce us to your business. My sister and I have opened Kaua`i’s first Indian/Nepalese Restaurant in the east-side town of Kapa`a. We saw big potential for a family-run place that strives to serve excellent food and exceptional service to all our customers.

Where are you from and why did you choose Kaua`i to start this business?We are from Nepal but most recently have moved from California, where I received a degree in international relations and my sister Mahima just received her degree in international business. We came here on vacation last December and we immediately saw the potential for a restaurant. Opening a restaurant together has always been a dream for us, and my family is already in the business with several restaurants on the Mainland and one on Maui, so my father gifted us with this opportunity as our graduation gift.

What is the driving vision behind Chutney? We want this to feel like home away from home where we treat you like family: highest quality food and personal, friendly service. I worked for years as a makeup artist, so I believe that beauty comes from a diversity of colors. I hope our business adds this colorful mix to Kapa`a.

How did you design the menu? We really hope to have a balance of Indian and Nepalese food, and many of these are family recipes. Our chefs, Bindshore and Sugam, have a combined 20 years’ experience – with Bindshore being a partner in my uncle’s restaurant business on Maui called Monsoon India. They run the kitchen, while my sister and I run the front of the

here is made from scratch – the tamarind, the mango and mint chutneys – as well as everything else.

What have been your greatest challenges in starting this business? For every business there’s a risk, but if you know the market and see a niche to fill and you do your research, it’s possible. Everyone has been so friendly and we feel confident that, with excellent food and service, we can make it a success.

Plans for the future of your business? I’m working on a special Sunday brunch menu and we also are planning to feature a special Nepali night. We also have live music and we hope to have more – right now we like acoustic guitar to match the ambiance of the restaurant, and we hope to have a sitar player eventually.

Have you had time to enjoy the island? We spent our first two months exploring and enjoying. We love the people, the culture and the ocean. It was a lifelong dream to live in Hawai`i – especially for my sister. She’s always wanted to surf and paddle! After having scouted Oahu, Maui and Hawai`i islands, we are so happy to have chosen Kaua`i. It’s a perfect fit for us. We hope the community will agree!

Chutney, open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Old Town Kapa`a, 821-2040, chutneykauai.com

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