The first things that hit you about this New Farm restaurant is the decor - it is literally wall to wall, corner to corner, crammed full of traditional artifacts, ornaments, pictures and wall hangings. Some might call it overkill but I believe it adds to the charm of this popular establishment. We were welcomed at the entrance and shown to our table, delighting along the way at the ambience created by the candlelit lanterns and warm furnishings.
There is outdoor and indoor seating, and a private lounge area where our party was seated. The low set and ornately carved tables, combined with the decor and lighting made us feel welcome and relaxed. The service was outstanding, I particularly loved that it was probably a whole hour before any of us actually ordered anything, and not once did we feel pressure, or observe waiters hovering over us waiting; yet somehow, they were there whenever we actually needed them.
The menu boasts a diverse range of traditional Indian and Nepalese dishes, and caters well to vegetarians. Shortly after ordering we received complimentary pappadums which were fresh, crispy and not oily as they sometimes are. Our momo entrees ($5.90) arrived very quickly - they were tasty but the highlight was the spicy dipping sauce. No sooner had we finished our entrees, the mains arrived, all together and nobody's order was wrong or forgotten.
I ordered the Nepalese Tofu Curry ($13.90) and it was delicious, the flavours were subtle but zingy and creamy at the same time. A friend ordered the Dal Makhni ($12.90) off the Indian menu and was a little disappointed, it was nice but a little bland. Overall that seemed to be the verdict - the food was nice, great even, but not amazing. The favourite dish was the Sherpa Chicken ($15.90) which everyone seemed to love. The naans were light and fresh, and definitely a winner. The servings were generous and the cost reasonable.
Would I go to Karma again? Yes I would, the food is good, the service is great and the restaurant itself is absolutely gorgeous. The lounge where we were seated is perfect for a small party and it's not too noisy so you can hear each other talk. If you're going to be sitting in the lounge area, ladies wear pants as it is floor seating. In fact my only complaint would be from my bottom, which found the wooden stools somewhat uncomfortable after a time.