Yak & Yeti Bistro
2958 W 4th Avenue
My fellow foodies can attest – it doesn’t take much to convince me to go out to eat in Vancouver. This week’s occasion was a noble one, as several restaurants were participating in Dining Out for Life. On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, participating restaurants donated 25% of their food sales to local charities that support living with HIV/Aids. Though our event was just one day, Vancouver represents one of 60 cities across North America that take part in Dining Out for Life.
So there I was, scanning the list. With names like Fable, Italian Kitchen, and The Oakwood, to tempt me, I was committed to using the occasion to try something different. With this mind, I took refuge from the rain at the Yak & Yeti Bistro for my first taste of Himalayan cuisine.
Yak & Yeti Bistro – What makes it a place to visit in Vancouver?
What exactly is Himalayan cuisine? I’ll admit, beyond the Himalyan Pink Salt that dons my dark chocolate, I had no idea. But, I’ve always been enamored with Vancouver’s multicultural diversity and authenticity which encourages foodies to taste, learn, and share. It’s empowering for a foodie to ask a question and taste their answer later that day. So as a loyal Vancouver food blog, I tasted, I learned, and I’ve got lots to yak about! (See what I did there?)
The Himalayas refer to a mountain range in Asia that separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. Food from this region, therefore, has influences from Asian, Tibetan, Indian, and even Thai cuisine. Yet, because of the cold climate, many traditional Himalayan ingredients ultimately reflect the fertility of the soil and the region’s native livestock. Rice, lentils, beef, and goat all make the list…and yes, yak’s on there, too!
Yak & Yeki Bistro – Eat Vancouver!
I kicked off the meal with Yak Momo – a recommendation from the staff. Momo is traditional dish that is looks quite similar to Chinese dumplings. Despite the name of the dish, the yak meat still took me by surprise. (They call me naïve, I’m not sure why.) Yak meat is alike to beef in its cut, but the texture is significantly tenderer and the taste is notably gamey. If you are like me and notice the rareness of the meat, fear not, all the yak blogs warn against over-cooking. Apparently, the results of well-done yak resemble charred leather! So, don’t fret. Also inside the dumpling, were cooked green and white onions. Overall, Vancouver Foodie Tours’ Lil’ Dumpling enjoyed the Himalayan dumplings, and I would definitely recommend the Momo as a starter for your Y&Y experience.
You know the blurb on your side view mirror? It goes something like “objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” When you visit Y&Y Bistro, consider that “items on menu are larger than they appear.” Although it’s not listed on the menu, most dishes actually come with a few sides (salad, rice, and/or soup.) It’s a pleasant surprise, but also handy to know in advance! The Duck Fried with Ginger features locally-raised duck and a side of salad. The duck meat is in finely chopped in small pieces, but the flavour is there. If you’re a spicy fan, it’s got just a bit of a kick!
The Masala Fish was the star of the show! It came with a bowl of brown rice and a simple iceberg salad. I really enjoyed the heartiness of the flavours that were soaked up by large pieces of fish. The curry can be poured, but has earned some weight from a blend of onions and spices; I relished generous scoops of curry over brown rice!
Vancouver Food Blog – Other things worth noting
For my first taste of Himalayan cuisine, I think the Yak & Yeti Bistro did the opportunity justice. They’re a 5-month old restaurant that, judging by the humble crowd, are making a name for themselves in the Kitsilano neighbourhood. The dining room is simple, cozy, and slender. Service was pleasant. It’s got the kind of vibes that can warm you up on rainy night.
Psst! What do you think of the new format for our restaurant reviews? You can let me know if you love it or hate it or just can’t make sense of it. From here on out (unless you kick it to the curb), I’ll start by setting the stage, touch on Vancouver culture, and finally, get into the meat (and veggies) of the meal! Keep in mind, I’ve got the sensitivity of a freshly-cracked oyster, so be gentle or else I might just slip out of my shell! Thanks, guys 🙂 Let’s eat again soon!