Tibetan Kitchen attracts lineups

Do you know that the Pemba’s Kitchen started as the Tibetan Kitchen in Market Square?

“Tibetan Kitchen attracts lineups

 A sure sign of a good place to eat is usually a lineup.”

A sure sign of a good place to eat is usually a lineup.

And lunchtime lines are common in Market Square these days after Pemba Bhatia started cooking up her family’s Tibetan recipes from a tiny kitchen and takeout window in the northwest corner of the downtown shopping centre.

“It’s been non-stop, such a success since I opened,” the owner of the Tibetan Kitchen said between customers yesterday that included shop owners, curious tourists and repeat locals.

Bhatia, 37, said she is realizing a life-long dream with her one-woman cooking venture. Born in India to refugees forced from Tibet during the exile of the Dalai Lama in 1959, Bhatia learned authentic Tibetan and Indo-Tibetan cuisine from her mother and monks in her small native village of Kalimpong, India.

Life in Kalimpong taught her to be resourceful and efficient and her spotless little kitchen and cooking techniques show it.

She makes everything from scratch in the morning on site and is liberal with her spices and sauces on a variety of momos (similar to pot stickers), butter chicken, tandoori chicken and fried seafood rice.

Bhatia worked for 12 years on cruise ships where she met her husband, William Frowd. The pair settled here and Frowd is now the captain of the Mill Bay ferry and Bhatia worked the last three years for B.C. Ferries.

“I always wanted a small place just like this and now my dream is here.”

The Tibetan Kitchen, Suite 140 Market Square, is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 250-383-5664.