Made the virgin voyage to the Yak last night, complete with a Nepali connection - a friend who has taught English over there.
To delve into it's being reported as a Nepali hangout - those reports are correct. Shortly after sitting down, a table of four mid-twenties Nepalis sat down behind us. They ordered in English, but then the waitress, who is from Tibet, spoke a little Nepali and they conversed in that language. There was also a solo diner in the corner getting soused on BYO Heineken that was also Nepali. The Nepalis were new to the restaurant, and asked if they served the momos in the Nepali style. The waitress responded that yes they did - the difference - she brought them a bottle of ketchup. My friend explained that yes, Nepalis put ketchup on their dumplings. We were not served it that way.
So - onto the food report. Upon sitting down, we were served with cups of bocha - salty, buttered tea. Must be an acquired taste - I though it would go well with lobster, not as a drink.
We split four dishes - tsel momo (steamed vegetable dumplings), chicken dofu (chicken with tofu), shamdey (chicken curry), and shapta (sauteed marinated beef).
The momos were fantastic - a cross between a chinese dumpling and a pierogi. Great flavors, but I think that a fried version would be too much. I'm craving them already. Worth the trip to Jackson Heights by themselves. The chicken dofu and shamdey were both very good, but nothing special. The shapta was my dining companions' favorite - a very peppery sauteed beef dish served with Himalayan bhaleb, a sort of flat bread tasting like steamed biscuits. It was a nice balance of flavors, just spicy enough, and a decent sized portion.
For dessert - we tried both options. The dey-see is a mixture of sweetened rice with raisins and butter topped with a very nice sour yoghurt. This was very tasty, although I was surprised that it was served hot. The other dessert was not as good, the bhatsa markhu. Large pasta served warm with sugar, butter, and grated cheese. Tasted a bit like a farmers chees pierogi mixed with pasta. It tasted too much like a savory dish to be enjoyed as a dessert, but I would consider ordering it for an appetizer! My Nepali-phile friend ordered a mango lassi, very sweet, which she proclaimed to be the best she'd had.
All in all it was a great experience. Had some BYO OB Lager from the Korean store across the street (yep - just as awful as it was in Seoul), the waitress was very friendly, allbeit with very relaxed service. At one point in the evening all the tables were filled, which on a Wednesday night can't be a bad thing. Hopefully they'll be in business for a while, and maybe they'll even add a Nepali section to the menu?! It'll definitely become a staple during my sojourns into Queens.
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