Kadai Indian Kitchen

Local Indian fine dining restaurant seeks piece of lunch crowd

Approaching nearly a half-year in business, Kadai Indian Kitchen is repositioning itself in 2013 to better handle Cedar Park's expanding lunch crowd.

Co-owner Rajesh Bhupal has been working with chef Vikas Mukhiya to create a condensed lunch menu that will decrease food turnaround times, allowing customers to get back to work on time, he said.

"Everybody likes our food so far, so we're working on improving our service by getting food out faster," Bhupal said. "We continue to come up with new solutions."

Many people typically have only 30 to 45 minutes on lunch breaks, he said, so the goal is to have food served within 15 minutes of customers ordering. That required eliminating or tweaking items that previously took longer to cook, Bhupal said.

Bhupal has also kept a close eye on cost since opening in early August. He claimed his food prices are 25 percent, 30 percent and sometimes even 40 percent cheaper than Austin-area Indian restaurant staples.

"There are many items I'm not even making any money on," he said.

The most popular items so far have varied widely. The chicken tikka masala, goat curry and lamb curry have all sold well as have the items cooked inside the kitchen's clay tandoor oven. Authenticity has been key to drawing back customers, Bhupal said.

"People have liked the food because it tastes similar to what you'd taste in India," he said. "It's very much like home."

Aside from improving wait times, Bhupal said in 2013 he also plans to introduce new recipes such as masala dosa and medu vada. They are expected to debut some time in February or March, he said.

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.