After six years spent perfecting his menu, Ashim Malla opened The Globe Restaurant in Oct. 2018. While the venue is on the smaller side, the restaurant’s diverse range of food will take you on a trip across the world.
Originally from Nepal, Malla earned his associates degree in culinary arts from Madison Area Technical College. He’s traveled far and wide, learning how to prepare cuisine from more than 10 countries.
With his skill in the kitchen and the help of both his wife and mother, The Globe has the potential to become one of the best restaurants in Madison.
My friend and I walked into the tile-plated restaurant last Friday to investigate. The small, square interior hosted a few tables and minimal, yet intriguing cultural artwork. As we approached the register, Malla walked out and greeted us, explaining how to order and the popular options. There’s an option between one of the two soups with any order and the prices of dishes vary from $4-$15.
My friend ordered the Tibetan chicken dumplings, while I braved the unknown with a daily special bento box, a signature combination of foods that changes every day. We shared the two soup options, Himalayan 15 bean and coconut cauliflower, which both surprised us with their wonderful taste. We especially loved the coconut cauliflower and could not believe how the little sprinkle of coconut shavings added such amazing depth.
It’s only one of many details Malla adds to his dishes which make them so unique. After dinner, I discovered the wide selection of gluten-free and vegan/vegetarian options on the menu. Most of the entrees have a decent portion of vegetables cooked in a wide array of spices. The selection of drinks also takes influence in The Globe’s multicultural atmosphere, giving customers options from Jarritos and Mexican Coca-Cola to a variety of lassi, an Indian yogurt-based drink.
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While my friend chose a Tamarind Jarrito, I decided on a yerba mate drink traditionally consumed in South America. It didn’t take long for our food to arrive, and the presentation was clean and organized. Malla gave us an option for sauce with a spice scale from one to five, we chose three just to be safe.
The chicken dumplings were served with sautéed peppers and onions and combined with the sauce. The bento box was a combination of different Nepali foods with one piece of naan-like bread meant to mix the selection together. The diverse range of spices and flavors was enough to entertain the tongue and not too overwhelming.
The Globe features more than what’s shown on the in-store menu. While the more popular dishes are found in the restaurant, Malla prepares a larger menu for takeout orders, which, according to the Wisconsin State Journal, is responsible for almost half of business. He’s hoping to add more to the menu as The Globe garners more attention, and even plans to expand the map of cuisines he now serves.
The core character of the restaurant shown through when dessert was served. While The Globe does not currently have a sweet menu, Malla asked if we wanted to try his experimental coconut ice cream. We agreed, and he brought it out with sliced mango and coconut shavings. What happened is why The Globe offers an experience like no other.
Malla returned to our table five minutes later and asked for our critique. Together, we exchanged stories and experiences with cooking and created a comfortable conversation.
“I like to take suggestions from customers and see what they like,” said Malla. “If there’s something I can do for them to make their experience better, I try to work with them.”
We felt comfortable the entire time we were there. Malla made sure customers understood the menu and talked as if we were friends invited to his home. He listened to our opinions on the food and took serious note, something most restaurants fail to do because their size makes it utterly impossible. Malla takes advantage of the small space by developing relationships with his customers and really catering to their needs.
In a world that grows smaller every day, The Globe embodies this idea with its small location and diverse assortment of food. The Globe’s homey and creative vibe establishes a comfortable environment for people of all ages to enjoy. And as every dish he serves has a story, Malla caters the variety of experiences we share at his small shop on Henry Street. My advice? Stop by and hear one — you will be very glad you did.