Featured Restaurant: Yak and Yeti, Crystal Palace
10:05am Friday 24th February 2012 in Featured Restaurants
Fancy a taste of the exotic East but looking for something just that little bit different?
Discerning diners in Crystal Palace aren’t the only ones to have discovered the secret of Yak and Yeti’s delicious Nepalese and Indian cuisine. Manager Shankar Kharel, a Nepalese national, was intrigued when two customers travelled 40 miles from Gillingham in Kent to his church Road restaurant. “The couple said they wanted to visit the restaurant because of the name, Yak and Yeti,” said Shankar. “But they were really delighted by our food and said it made the journey worthwhile.” I only travelled from Clapham for my meal at the restaurant, which was named after the famous Yak and Yeti Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal, but from the moment I arrived the friendly and courteous staff made me feel very welcome. They talked my friend and I through the extensive menu, which features traditional and modern dishes created by Head Chef Lilaram Sapkota. Having worked in fine restaurants in India, Nepal and Dubai, Lilaram creates a cuisine which is quite different from other Indian regions. The food is lighter and less oily, made with fresh, quality ingredients. Manager Shankar showed me the beautiful array of fresh, raw and often rare spices, which the chef grinds daily to create the wonderful flavours in the Yak and Yeti dishes. It is this adherence to quality that has consistently given Yak and Yeti top diner rating – currently 8.3 – with the Top Table restaurant review website. To start, my friends chose Salmon Ajwain (£5.45) – fresh salmon steeped in tangy marinade of yoghurt with traditional Nepalese herbs and spices, including carom and fresh dill. I selected one of the house specialities, Momo (£4.95) - traditional mini pancakes stuffed with minced lamb, or vegetables and the most popular fast food in the Himalayan nations of Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. The pancakes were light and fillings tasty and moreish...needless to say we finished them off. But I have to say my friend’s salmon starter was truly delicious. For the main course I ordered Salmon Masala (£10.95) from the Chef’s Specials of the Week menu – salmon steeped in a tangy marinade of yoghurt with Nepalese herbal spices, carom, fresh dill leaves and cooked with masala sauce. I wouldn’t have thought this would work, but the dish was really lovely, light and delicious. My friend ordered Malai Tikka (£7.50), from the a la carte menu – succulent breast of chicken marinated with ginger, garlic, pinch of chilli, malai and soft cheese cooked in the clay tandoor oven. This was another beautiful dish – plentiful but not too heavy for someone who’s on a diet for Summer! To accompany the main courses, we had Sag Aloo (£3.50) – potatoes adn spinach cooked in a creamy cumin seed flavoured sauce, Baigan Bharta (£4.50) – smoked aubergine with ginger and chillies, plus Saffron Pilau Rice (£2.75) and Special Fried Rice (£3.25). All in all a delicious meal, beautifully cooked and presented. The service was excellent and the surroundings, modern, light and comfortable, a delight. Yak and Yeti have a spacious downstairs function suite, which can be booked for private parties of up to 40 people. You can book online at www.yakandyeti.co.uk – or order dishes for home delivery which is free for orders over £10. Visit their website for details of the latest offers which include lunchtime specials. With branches in Eltham, Bromley and Orpington, the Yak and Yeti experience is well worth checking out. And you don’t need to travel to Kathmandu, to do it!
107 Church Road, Crystal Palace, SE19 2PR | 0208 771 6998