Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Himalayan Yak

Writing our post about Dhaulagiri Kitchen recently reminded us about another Himalayan restaurant we visited a couple of years ago - Himalayan Yak in Jackson Heights. We started a post ages ago but never finished it, so we figured we'd finally get around to it now. We had a Groupon when we went there, and after perusing the menu, we ordered a few dishes which were all from the Tibetan sections of the menu, but Himalayan Yak also had dishes that were of Nepalese and Bhutanese origin.

Our Groupon entitled us to two drinks (either beer or house wine), one appetizer, and two entrees. This was definitely enough to eat for two on a hot summer night. We started with a couple of Heinekens.

For our appetizer, we split the fried gyuma which came with three condiments. Gyuma was their homemade Tibetan style sausage filled with beef blood and ground beef, and was supposed to be one of their specialties.

We got the gyuma fried (instead of steamed) based on the server's recommendation. It was spiced really nicely, and if you didn't know beforehand you most likely would never guess that this was a blood sausage. The sausage itself was mostly nice and tender, but the ends were a little tough to chew at the tie-off point. Because they were fried, the skin also had a little bite to it, but it paired well with the tender filling.

The first entree to arrive was the sha-bhaley, Tibetan beef patties filled with beef, onion and ginger, which was served with a small side of dangtsel, a classic Tibetan salad of cabbage, carrot and tomato tossed in vinegar.

The salad was delicious, very light which was perfect for the weather. It was a good accompaniment to the patties. The patties themselves were obviously heavier. They were like little hamburgers encased in a doughy, fried pastry puff. They were spiced nicely and were quite filling.

For the second entree, we got the steamed yak sha-momos. At the time, A hadn't had momos before (but had plenty of similar dumplings), but M had gotten Tibetan food once before and had some really good momos. It was the first time for both of us to eat yak though.

All the sha-momos were dumplings filled with ground meat, cabbage, onion, scallion, cilantro, garlic and ginger. We got one of the last orders of yak, as we heard many people trying to order it during our meal and being told they were sold out. We had good timing!

If we hadn't known the meat was yak, we might not have known. The main thing was that they weren't that greasy at all. We're not sure if it's all yak meat or just the meat they used for the momos, but it was very lean. Despite that, it was still very moist, and very flavorful. The momos were pretty good, but we also just really love dumplings so are reasonably easy to please when it comes to them.

We liked our meal at Himalayan Yak and planned to return, but we don't get out to Jackson Heights as often as we should. The cuisines of the Himalayan region are definitely some that we want to investigate and learn more about.

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