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Saturday, May 18, 2024
The Globe Restaurant4

The Globe: A State Street palate-portal to the many homes of our world

October 2018 wasn't the most sunlit month for Ashim Malla and Suzy Karki to start one of downtown Madison’s most popular restaurants. Yet the married pair felt excited as the sunrise of a new venture began to take form. 

Five years later, and their snug portal to the world’s palate draws surges of customers from various cultural backgrounds with a single objective in mind: To experience a sense of home. 

Malla and Karki’s multicultural cuisine restaurant, The Globe, sits at 309 N. Henry St. across from the couple’s other business, Triangle Market. The Globe offers a cozy variety of East Asian, South Asian and Mexican dishes — among other cuisines — along with a dessert menu covering household favorites and seasonal delicacies. The restaurant’s quaint spacing allows for a myriad of fragrances to blend and entice one’s hunger. 

Before operating their business, Karki and Malla completed their higher education as international students from Nepal at Winona State University and Madison Area Technical College. The couple said their exposure to the international community was the initial spark behind The Globe. 

“When you come from an international background, you just get so comfortable with others from international backgrounds because they’re going through the same things you’re going through,” Karki said. 

Like many international students, Karki and Malla went through the difficulty of being far from home. However, Karki said the challenge exposed them to the comforts of having a multicultural community to engage with. 

“You’re missing home, missing your family, your community and your food,” Karki said. “So then [everyone’s] experiences match, and the close-knit interaction that comes from that leads to you learning about and respecting each others’ cultures and then trying their food. That’s what we grew up around.”

As a recipient of a cross-cultural scholarship, Karki facilitated certain cultural exposition projects that fostered a connection between surrounding communities and international students. These events were supplemented with food stemming from a diverse range of cooking styles. Experiencing the culinary diversity there ignited the couple’s desire to create connections through cuisine. According to Karki, this ultimately manifested in The Globe. 

The Globe Restaurant Register

“We wanted to get food from many different parts of the world so that the person who is familiar with different cuisines can enjoy them, and those who do not know much about the foods of other cultures can experience them fully,” Karki said. “It’s for both types of people.” 

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Jeewan Khadka, an international student sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from Nepalgunj, Nepal, said he appreciated The Globe’s unique ability to cater to the tastes of both American and international palates.  

“If there’s an international cuisine restaurant, they usually try to blend flavors and make their food more logical to the taste of most people in the area they’re operating in. Or, they make their food purely for the taste of people of that cultural cuisine,” Khadka said. “The Globe, however, has blended their food to the liking of most people around, but have not lost that authentic touch of home-like cultural food at all."

Considering many of his friends are from a vast range of international locations, Kadhka said he was surprised at how the range and blends of flavors at The Globe satisfied his diverse friend group upon their first visit. 

“Five or six of us were from different countries. One of my friends was from Brazil, another was from Ghana, another from Mexico and one from Rwanda,” Khadka said. “We were sitting there after our meal, and not a single person had a critique to make.” 

"In addition to providing an opportunity to eat different dishes while bonding over a meal, The Globe’s space also serves as a refuge of comfort for those who are new to town," said Joshua Noronha, a UW-Madison student.

“It’s the way the space is set up. Each table is meant to be an intimate space for you and the people at the table to share your own stories, and yet share the same sense of community and belonging,” Noronha said. 

Karki and Malla stated that their commitment to serving the community around them is central to The Globe’s mission. The couple implemented a pay-what-you-want model during the pandemic, which they said provided affordable nutrition to people struggling with income loss. 

Aiming to continue their restaurant’s legacy of unity, diversity and community service, Karki and Malla said they plan to continue their operation for the foreseeable future with hopes of expanding down the line. 

“For right now, we are content with where we are at The Globe. The place is so cozy,” Karki said. “We really appreciate all the help from our local community.” 

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