Supreet Kapoor, Kulwinder Singh and Jasdeep Bhasin were all born in Northern India and immigrated to the United States as kids. The three men met through mutual friends before deciding to open a restaurant together.
Bhasin said one of the things that makes their restaurant stand out is the talent and experience of Singh, who is the head chef of their operation.
Singh spent most of his life in hospitality and worked in the restaurant industry in New York before Kapoor and Bhasin persuaded him to move to Austin, Bhasin said, adding Singh moved his entire family to Texas so the three could open a business together.
“No one can cook like [Singh],” Bhasin said. “He never compromises on the quality.”
Bhasin said they chose Lakeway for their first restaurant because there are no other Indian restaurants in the city, so they saw it as an opportunity to bring a new concept to the area.
“There’s a lack of sit-down restaurants in the area as well,” he said. “A lot of places are more cafe style.”
Both Kapoor and Bhasin grew up in business-class families, so they always knew they wanted to be entrepreneurs, Kapoor said.
Opening the restaurant allowed them to do something different, he said, while also sharing a piece of their culture with people in Austin.
Bhasin said Zest Indian Kitchen + Bar has also given them an opportunity to provide great customer service, take care of people in the community and show them how food from Northern India should be cooked.
“This is how [the food is] supposed to be because this is how it is back home—traditional, good-quality, fresh Indian food,” Bhasin said.
Some of the most popular and requested dishes from their customers, according to all three owners, are the chicken tikka masala, a roasted boneless chicken breast marinated in Indian spices; the Chicken 65 appetizer, deep-fried chicken sauteed with onion, green chilies and yogurt; lamb dishes, such as Lamb Achari; and the dishes cooked from the clay tandoori oven.
The restaurant also features a full bar and an outdoor seating area.
While Zest Indian Kitchen + Bar is their first full-service restaurant, the trio also owns Lake Travis Biergarten off RM 620. They hope to expand in the next several years and open more Indian restaurants in the area, Bhasin said.
Zest Indian Kitchen + Bar
2011 Main St., Ste. 400, Lakeway
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m. daily