Thursday, February 23, 2012

Restaurant Ruminations :: Cat Man Do

This week has been less about cooking and more about dining out.  Sometimes that just happens -- who am I to complain?!  One evening a few of my college friends and I headed out to Cat Man Do restaurant on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.  I was looking forward to trying out this place because I run in the area almost weekly.  It physically hurts me to smell all of the deliciousness as I run by and then have to run away from it.  The owners of Cat Man Do are formally of Everest on Grand but they decided to leave Everest, branching out to form another restaurant showcasing the aromatic and flavorful Nepali food that I love so much. 

One of the reason I love doing restaurant reviews is that I feel justified in ordering a multi-course meal.  So this time, I started out with a serving of a samosa chat. 

The samosa chat is essentially a crushed samosa, topped with tomato, onion, and a cold yogurt.  Samosas alone are quite wonderful, and these were beautifully made with delicious dough.  But adding the veggies on top and contrasting the warm samosa with the chilled yogurt sauce?  Yum!  The yogurt sauce did have the effect of dimming down the spice level a bit, but the contrast in temperature was enough of a surprise that I didn't miss the spice element as much.  Then for my main course, I decided to try the vegetarian chow chow.

Amazing!  My friend and I decided that it was like ramen for grown ups because the noodles were so similar in shape to your traditional, cup-o-noodle ramen.  But these noodles were pan fried for some extra texture and flavor, then sauteed with a selection of vegetables.  I ordered medium-level spice, so the chow chow had a bit of a kick!  But it was not at all overwhelming and the spiciness seemed to melt into the background of the dish, giving it some heat and flavor.  The accompanying vegetables were also tasty, but I could have used a tad more variety, especially as a vegetarian menu option.

I wanted desperately to save some of these noodles so I could enjoy them again for lunch the next day, but with each bite, my willpower dissolved a bit more and eventually the chow chow was completely devoured.  I was envious of my friends' take-out boxes, but I suppose this means I have to go back to Cat Man Do and order the chow chow again.  Rough life!

Restaurant Details
Cat Man Do
1659 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, 55105
(651) 528-7575

Regular Hours:
Sunday-Thursday: 11:00am - 9:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Happy Hour:
Monday - Friday: 2:00 - 6:00pm
Lunch Buffet Hours:
Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 2:00pm


  1. Wow, CatManDo got a really posh website. I bet that you and your friend had a very unique dining experience. I'd love to visit that restaurant!

  2. I know, right? The website was kind of a surprise to me, too! Dinner was excellent -- put this place on your list for sure!