The “occasion” for this meal was I had this friend that really really needed cheering up, so I decided I would take him here for a treat, as he loves his food almost as much (I say ALMOST, I don’t know anyone that loves grub as much as me- I ruddy live it!) as I do, and he had never tried this place before. My friend was running a bit late, so I waited at the bar area for about 20 minutes and ordered a nice cup of chai. Chai is Nepalese tea- it’s not to everyone’s taste, it’s traditionally very sweet, quite weak, but spiced (cardamom, saffron, cinnamon etc.) milky tea. This place used to do THE BEST cup of chai, all frothy and scented and just the right amount of sweetness- beautiful. However, the cup of chai they served me on this occasion tasted like an overly sweet cuppa that at one point flirted with a cardamom pod.
My mate arrived, we took our seats- there are certain tables where you can sit on the floor with cushions and everything but I’ve never really liked that whilst eating. I mean its cool and informal to do that with cocktails or wine with friends but not in a restaurant- even a chilled out one. Plus when me and my family used to eat there all the time, theres no way we could have done that anyway because my dad can’t cross his legs, haha!
Anyway, after having a nice cold Nepalese lager, we decided to order. In this place, theres a choice of about 6 starters- I recommended the “Momos”- which are traditional spiced dumplings. I had the vegetables ones whilst my friend had the pork variety. Normally I love these little things- however, I felt that my vegetable ones had a slightly too hard texture (like they had been steamed a little too little or a little too long?).
Main course-wise- generally the way you order in Yak Yeti Yak, that if your’e super hungry, you each order either the “Dal Bhat Takari” or the “Dal Bhat Masu” set meal- the masu is meaty and the takari is veggie- you basically choose one of the meat dishes off the main menu, or the veggie ones, and you choose between the orange or black dahl (black one is brilliant!), and this comes with loads of steamed rice, aloo channa, and achar (a type of tomato chutney). I decided against this (it is a big big meal!) and ordered the “Muglinko kukhura”- described as “Chicken stir-fried on the bone with our own blend of spices tomato, onion, garlic and ginger.”, the chamsur sag (stir fried watercress and spinach in curried spices- luuush!!!) and some rice.
Normally, I really don’t mind my meat on the bone. I know, like anyone else, that often meat on the bone can taste much nicer- the closer the meat is to the bone, the more flavour you will find- I don’t mind picking the meat off! However…..when this dish arrived, despite being very flavourful, was almost utterly impossible to eat. It was basically like they had smashed a load of whole chicken up, spiced it, cooked it, then shoved it in a bowl. Meat either has to be off the bone, or obviously on the bone- I found myself trying to eat this dish, but constantly picking shards and little fragments of bone out of my meal/mouth/teeth! Hardly very polite! The chamsur sag was allright, and the rice, well it’s just boiled rice- it’s hard to get wrong! During all of this it was also hard to get any of the staff’s attention , they all just seemed to be hanging out at the bar, looking vaguely pissed off. It’s so sad- the place looks so cool and and unique/authentically Nepalese, and the staff used to be so friendly, but the new lot seem so miserable.
I decided after that disappointing main course, that I wasn’t going to order a pudding. However, if this place get’s better, I would very much recommend the “Gajaarko Tartlet”- a rather unusual but delicious dish, a sweet spiced carrot tartlet, served with either cream or ice cream. An absolutely stunning dessert. Luckily, even if things don’t improve there, I can recreate this at home, as I very fortunately went to catering college with someone I found out who worked there- and I made him promise to write me this recipe down- a promise that the boy kept! Shall have to write it up on here one day (with my own adaptions of course!).
Anyway. Gosh. A thoroughly unfortunate visit to the place I used to adore. I have to hope that they’ll get back to their old ways- that the food will be out of this world, and the service warm, however, at this current state, I would have to rate the food as 2/10, and the service the same! Know that I don’t mean to sound harsh, but this place really need to pull their socks up, if they want my (or anyone else’s for that matter!) repeat visits.