Tonight I’m with Gino and we are heading into the Himalayas. Not literally, only in terms of cuisine. Yak, the Himalayan Kitchen is one of the more recent additions to the stock of eating places in Old Town. Our usual fare on my nights out with Gino is either curry, tapas or Thai…so this will make an interesting change.
Less unusual is the fact that we both need a beer. Yak can meet this request and they can even provide Nepalese beer. Well, I say Nepalese – Gurkha lager is actually brewed by Hepworth’s in West Sussex. It is a perfectly fine lager, very refreshing and it is likely to work well with the Nepalese spices that we are expecting to find in the various dishes here.
Before we even order any food we are presented with poppadums – not flat like you would have in most Indian restaurants but slightly thicker and shaped like bowls. The taste of the poppadums is the same except for the dipping sauce that comes with them. It is highly flavoured, quite different and very good indeed.
Gino starts with the steamed lamb momo (see featured image). Momos are small, delicate steamed dumplings – far closer to Chinese dumplings than the heavy English variety. These are filled with ground lamb mixed with herbs, spices and a little oil and served with a home made stone ground chutney. Very good indeed. I have the Himalayan pork ribs marinated in Nepalese spices and roasted, served with sweet and chilli sauces. They taste great though you really need to abandon all good manners and pick them up to eat them properly.
For his main course Gino has the Sagarmatha Kukhurako Ko Tarkari – a chicken curry cooked with onion, ginger, garlic and Nepali spices. I have the Himalayan Khasi Ra Hario Bodi Ko Tarkari – a lamb and green bean curry. We both have Bhuteko Bhat – rice fried in ghee with cumin, garlic & mixed vegetables. Both the curries have a dry, earthy flavour – very nice and, again, quite different to curries we’ve experienced elsewhere. The rice is less obviously fried than you would get in most Chinese restaurants – it seems fresher and all the better for that.
Overall, eating Nepalese has been a fascinating experience and one that I think most people would enjoy!