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Without question among the best restaurants in town is Restaurant Muramoto (225 King St., 608/259-1040, 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 5–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 5–9 p.m. Sun., $7–15). The food is creative pan-Asian with Japanese at its heart. Nothing here disappoints—a cliché, but it’s true. Even the service has been far, far above the usual college-town-lethargic, with servers who may still be preoccupied by their master’s degree thesis but still do a damn good job.
Wisconsin’s only Indonesian restaurant is Bandung (600 Williamson St., 608/255-6910, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 5 p.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 5 p.m.–10 p.m. Fri., 4 p.m.–8 p.m. Sun., $5–15). The Indonesian food is solid, but Bandung also has Thai choices. Service is occasionally erratic here.
Madison’s got one of the United States’ highest concentration of overseas Chinese students, but not much good Chinese food—till now, that is, with Fugu (411 W. Gilman St., 608/286-7277, 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun., $4–9). With two decades around China, this author’s pretty fussy—and this pan-Cathay (and Asian fusion) joint (heavy on Sichuanese food) is the only place in Madison he’ll eat Chinese food. More—his Chinese friends like it. ’Nuff said.
The Madison institution for Nepali cuisine has always been Himal Chuli (318 State St., 608/251-9225, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Wed., 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., noon–9 p.m. Sun.), a great little place with a menu that will never let you down. Lovers of Himalayan food were orgasmic when the owners opened the equally delightful Chautaura (334 State St., 608/255-3585, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Wed., 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., noon–9 p.m. Sun., $7–14), which serves Nepali cuisine with heavy overtones of Indian and even Tibetan—at higher prices, mind you, given the expansive space.
© Thomas Huhti from Moon Wisconsin, 5th Edition