SUNNYSIDE — The chef behind a popular Tibetan eatery is launching his second restaurant — a shop in Sunnyside with a focus on healthy dishes.
"This restaurant, I'm much more concentrating on people's health," said Tsering, saying he wants to add more low-calorie, low-fat dishes to the menu.
He plans to incorporate more steamed or baked foods over fried items, use mushrooms in place of meat, and create dishes showcasing healthy ingredients like turmeric and white kidney beans, he said.
"I'm not here only to earn money, I'm here to make people healthy, make people happy," he said.
Tsering also plans to take full advantage of the larger kitchen in the new space. The cooking space at GangJong Kitchen only uses a hot plate.
"My wife, she said, 'You have a whole lot of experience but the kitchen [at GangJong] is so small. Why don’t we do a big kitchen where you can show all your experience?'" he said.
Tsering has worked as an executive chef at a hotel in Nepal and has had cooking gigs in Russia and India — though he originally learned to cook from his mother, Tsering said.
Punda's menu includes Tsamathuk, a soup made from roasted barley and "Sizzlers," which are plates made up of chicken, beef or tofu served over noodles and stir-fried vegetables.
The most popular item are the momos, which are dumplings made of house-made dough stuffed with chicken, beef or vegetables. They come steamed, fried or pan-fried.
"Mostly here the people go for the dumplings," Tsering said.
Punda — which means "brotherhood" — offers dishes with Tibetan, Indian, Chinese and Thai influences, he said.
Punda is open seven days a week for dinner. Specific operating hours have not been set yet.