We asked six international students where they liked to eat to remind them of home
In the midst of language barriers and culture shock, food has always existed as a beautiful middle ground between people from different countries.
With over 120 countries represented across ASU's four campuses, the collective appetite of the student body demands a bold selection of dining options.
Although all international students interviewed agreed nothing beats home cooking from their native country, they offered a few decent substitutes for a curious palate. Here are six restaurants they recommended:
Biomedical engineering alumnus Yashwanth Nandakumar said he likes the fact that Kabab Palace offers both North and South Indian cuisine and recommends the restaurant to anyone who asks.
According to an article from Food52, Northern Indian cuisine consists of a lot of bread and curry — two staples that are featured in most Indian restaurants in America. Southern Indian food, on the other hand, is generally based around lentils, rice and stews.
The menu at Kabab Palace is regionally separated, though diners can also choose from extensive lists of chicken, lamb or seafood dishes. It is also very vegetarian-friendly, and many a Yelper went nuts over the weekday lunch buffet.
Kabab Palace is located at 710 W. Elliot Rd. in Tempe.
Computer information systems alumna Renata Tiepo said the national Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chao helped her cure bouts of homesickness when she was studying at ASU last year.
Although the prices don't exactly allow for the typical college budget to indulge too often, the food's impeccable quality makes it worth the splurge.
One can easily get carried away at the appetizer bar, but it is absolutely critical to save extensive space for the main courses, which are hand-sliced fresh off the skewer right at the table. The meat is tear-jerkingly fresh and exquisite, and the most dangerous part is the fact that it will literally keep coming until diners have the self-control to say "stop."
Even for those not from Brazil, Fogo de Chao can easily nurse a number of emotional ills.
Fogo de Chao is located at 6300 N. Scottsdale Rd. in Scottsdale.
Hamsini Gopalakrishna, a materials science and engineering graduate student, echoed Nandakumar's sentiments about the abundance of North Indian food in America, and praised Udupi for offering authentic South Indian food.
Notable offerings include a selection of dosai (fermented crepes made with rice batter and lentils) and pullavs. Everything on the menu is vegetarian or vegan.
Udupi is reasonably priced, with the menu's most expensive item being the mysore royal thali deluxe dinner plate at $15.99. Curries are all $10.99, and everything else is less than $10.
To the delight of yet another set of impressed Yelp users, Udupi also offers a lunchtime buffet on weekdays.
Udupi is located at 1636 N. Scottsdale Rd. in Tempe.
Ian Yingzheng Liu, a supply chain management student and Coalition of International Students vice president, said that he tragically has not yet been able to find a restaurant in the area that is up to par with the food from his home country of China. Although he said he enjoys cooking Chinese cuisine at home, he also loves finding great Indian restaurants with his fellow CIS board member, Gopalakrishna, and recommends Little India.
Little India is known for its traditional chaat, a term used to describe a variety of small but hearty snacks, and many diners note the samosa chaat as a favorite. Little India also doubles as an Indian grocery store.
Little India is located at 1813 E. Baseline Rd. in Tempe.
Like Liu, computer science graduate student Xiaoxiao Wang said he hasn't found a lot of authentic Chinese food in the area that compares to his favorites from his home province of Sichuan in Southwest China.
However, he has contently settled for House of Egg Roll a few times, where he enjoys the huge portions of chicken dishes. House of Egg Roll also offers several noodle and rice dishes, all of which are very cheaply priced. Its space is small and simple, which adds to the comforting feeling of the heaping portions and savory flavors.
House of Egg Roll is located at 961 W. Ray Rd. in Chandler.
Is India Oven truly "the finest Indian cuisine in the Valley," as its logo so confidently states? Maybe not biochemistry senior Bhumika Devnani said, but they have a killer buffet.
If the buffet is too much to handle, Devnani recommends the chicken tikka masala, paneer masala and pakoda curry, none of which are complete without a side of naan.
India Oven offers a full vegetarian menu as well as plenty of lamb, goat, beef, chicken and seafood options for the meat lover. The restaurant's dinner buffet is $11.95 and the lunch buffet is $9.95, and both come with Indian tea and mango lassi.
India Oven is located at 1315 S. Gilbert Rd. in Mesa.
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