LOCAL Houston | The City Guide March 2017 - Page 20

DINE WRITE THE MOTHER OF REINVENTION kiran's is back By Janice Schindeler | Photography by Sarah Miller Saffron Panna Cotta KIRAN VERMA EXPECTS PERFECTION. TWO WEEKS POST OPENING OF HER NEW, CUSTOM-BUILT NAMESAKE RESTAURANT, THE FINE-TUNING OF FINISHES AND SPACE CONTINUES. “EVERY DAY, YOU FEEL LIKE ‘ALMOST THERE, ALMOST THERE.’ THEN, THEN, I START WORKING AND I SEE WE NEED MORE LIGHTS, WE NEED MORE SEATS,” SAYS CHEF AND OWNER VERMA. It took nine months from when Verma shut down her successful 11-year-old restaurant on Westheimer until she opened the doors on the Richmond location immediately in front of Levy Park. Nine long, tedious months, anxious months during which Verma and her staff stewed and brewed, creating a menu that honored the dishes of the past and forecasted pleasures and flavors of the future. The whole time Verma kept the faith and her standards: always, always expecting and only accepting the best. The general contractor, carpenter and designer are meeting, resolving the lighting issues and other minor punch list items. Nine plus months into the project and she still hugs them goodbye. Verma is taking a break sipping chai. One sip of her custom blend Kiran’s Daughter chai (five different tea leaves, floral notes of green and black cardamom, the spice of cloves and cinnamon and a little punch of black pepper) and off she flies into the kitchen. Reemerging she explains, “The chai was not hot enough. Chai must be very hot – there is a method. And the method ensures hot chai. It is a step-by-step process. Boil, infuse, 20 LOCAL | march 17