Why go: The excellence of the cooking here lies in the details: Salads get extra crunch from super-fresh cabbage, fritters sport a greaseless crust, the paper-thin wrappers on the samosas shatter at a touch. The refinement is matched by elegant decor and doting service.
What to get: Split-pea fritters with a smoky, salsa-like condiment; samosas filled with curried potatoes, carrots, and peas; salad of grilled beef with lime dressing; fermented-tea-leaf salad, a mélange of crispy, soft, and crunchy textures; coconutty Gold Mountain noodles with hard-boiled egg and chicken; goat curry with ginger and garlic (it has a cult-like following); shweji, a soft cake made with Cream of Wheat.
Best for: A quiet lunch, dinner, or date.
Insider tip: Ask if any dishes haven’t been listed on the menu yet—the owner often tinkers with new items that she’s happy to serve.
>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here.