Review: Yeti, the Himalayan Kitchen, Delhi (Nepalese, Tibetan)
50A, 2nd Floor, Hauz Kahs Village, New Delhi. Ph # +91-11-40678649
This petite little Himalayan restaurant had been on my to-do list for quite some time now and when Delhi’s temperature touched the season’s lowest yesterday, our craving for some hot spicy food took us on the mountain trail to ‘Yeti’. Quite a trail indeed, tucked at one end of the up-market food paradise of the city the Hauz Khas village, this restaurant is at two floors flights end of the characteristic narrow staircase of this area.
A busy weekend night kept us waiting for a table but there isn’t pretty much one can do about it anyway for they do not pre-book, its first come first serve. So either choose a weekday or have some spare time to accommodate the wait, which is anyway isn’t too long.
Nothing fancy about the place, simple yet cozy little place, yeah about 9-10 small tables. Earthy tones on the walls & upholstery, Buddhist prayer flags adorning the walls, copper pots, some Tibetan masks on the walls and a decently stocked tiny bar at one end are the immediate eye catchers. Falling just a little short of exuding the intended monastery aura, the place nonetheless has a welcoming warmth about it.
It was decent, not like a well trained star hotel opulence but the staff was courteous and helpful. But you cannot depend on the waiters for recommendations here, now whether it’s their mountain coyness or problem with the language, they could not help with the menu. So call the manager for help if required, and once the decision is made be assured that the waiters will serve you promptly.
The food, which of course is the most important part of the experience, had its own highs and lows. Okay let me not be so rigid, the low point was just one i.e the Chicken momos with soup. The chicken momos were pretty mediocre, infact they make better momos at some street shops across Delhi. An inappropriate amount of oil dripped off the momos and the soup was a plain chicken stock infused with lotta chillies, coriander and salt, that’s about it. I cannot recommend their momos, especially after having relished the best ever momos recently (remember the Royal China unlimited Momos review). That being our fist order I had started doubting my decision to have come to the place but then arrived our next starter. It was a Tibetan snack ‘Phokso’ that’s twice cooked goat maws, the dish simply hit the right cord on the cold-stuck palate, spicy, crispy, succulent meat in every bite and our hopes were restored back. Next to arrive was again a Tibetan fare, Mushroom with black bean paste served with tingmo, which by the way is the Tibetan bread. The dish was pile of button mushrooms cooked in a black bean sauce with no characteristic greatness about it, I mean a standard black bean sauce and mushrooms, the bread was good, soft and fresh.
By the time we finished all the starters our tummies were almost full but we knew there was still room for a little something. A quick scan of the menu and despite a strong urge to order the non-veg Nepali set thali we went for a smaller portion of meal and ordered Jadoh with Dohkhleh, a delicacy of the Khasi janitas of Meghalaya. It was a portion of nice fragrant rice cooked in a mildly spicy meat stock served with a peculiarly simple kind of meat that was flavoured with spices and onions and cooked in some white sauce along with some boiled egg whites. The two very different flavours actually combined unexpectedly well and we finished off the entire plate in no time, some soulful food to signoff the meal. Yeah that was the final round for there’s nothing on list for desserts except Haggen Daz ice-cream. But just before calling for the check Mr. H decided to have a cup of the Yak butter tea. It was a standard Yak butter tea which you’ll like if you like it and if you are me you won’t for the insane amount of butter in a cup of light tea, not my cuppa tea indeed.
Often good things come in small (read simple here) packages. Well I am not at all saying that this one’s a great place to dine at, but definitely a good place to catch up with friends or closed one on a cold winter night, especially if you feel like a hearty, home-style spicy, no fuss Tibetan/Nepali meal. Do we have any other Himalayan option in the city, hardly any I think. Its nothing fancy or great on the plate, simple cooking but hearty food, so just drop in for an informal meal that doesn’t even cost a fortune, our bill for two was a total of Rs.3054/- (this includes Rs 1000 straight for our drinks). I’d go back to try all the other traditional recipes mentioned on the menu and trust me that would take quite a few visits.