THEINSVILLE, Wis — In between the Himalayas and the Rocky Mountains sits a sincerely authentic Nepalese restaurant that brings a taste of the east with a hint of the west to Thiensville, Wisconsin.
Welcome to The Cheel.
"You have the most unique food, even in Nepal, so this is really food from my family kitchen to everybody," owner and chef Barkha-Limbu Daily said.
It truly is unique food. Almost all of her menu items come directly from the Nepali kitchen she grew up in half a world away.
"I wasn’t technically trained, however the were the food I cooked with my mom dad grandma grandpa."
While she didn't intend on being a chef once she came to the United States, it sort of fell in her lap after people kept asking at farmers markets and fairs where her restaurant was.
After a lot of contemplation, she opened up her restaurant in 2014. It's one of the only Nepalese restaurants in Wisconsin, and it has a serious fan base. People come from as far as Iowa to try her food.
Now she takes her cooking seriously, as if she owes it to her parents and Nepalese culture to maintain the integrity of their food.
"I wanted to make sure I paid respect to the food and culture I grew up with."
That's why Daily doesn't skip any steps when it comes to making these homemade recipes. While she does have a strong local focus, she wants to ensure her food taste like home. So she has her mom send her spices from Nepal. She said there's a lot that goes into spices that give it an authentic taste.
"Altitude. The rainfall. The ph level of the soil."
It may sound meticulous, but it's all for the final product: delicious Nepalese food.
"When you taste our food you will know that it is made with love."
Menu items include bheda shank, "Strauss lamb shank braised with garlic, ginger, onion, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cumin, bay leaves and coriander," Or methi kukhura tarkari, "Garlic and ginger, marinated chicken legs and thighs, simmered with onion, tomatoes, fenugreek and freshly ground coriander."
They are probably dishes you have never heard of and will probably admit having a tough time to pronounce when ordering; however, that's the point. The restaurant is un-apologetically Nepali.
But as their slogan says, "flavor altitude from the Himalayas to the Rockies," Daily does offer some more western fair.
"I made sure there were some approachable dishes like ribs. It has Himalayan spice. Of course it has some of my signature on it; however, not everyone is adventurous, and I respect that," she said.
It's more than just a restaurant. Recently, she opened up a biergarten that features live music.
So, from her Ema Datshi to her on tap beers and cocktails, Daily offers a world of flavor at her restaurant.
"The Cheel itself means eagle, and it flies higher than other birds. So what we are doing is taking your flavor profile to the next level."
For more information about the restaurant including a menu, operating hours, and featured artists you can go to their website.