I stopped in my tracks as I passed down Goodramgate on a recent trip to York when I spotted The Yak and Yeti. I’d never passed by a Gurkha restaurant before and I was surprised to see one situated down the cobbled streets of this ancient city; so much so that I snapped a photo as a reminder to book a table for the next evening. I shamefully know very little of the Gurkha’s apart from short snippets passed down via my Nan and Mom from my Grandad who served in Burma; who told me of the sacrifice they made for Britain and their fierce fighting spirit. I booked a table mostly for the new experience and because I wanted to get just a little snapshot of the far-flung land that my Grandad had landed in all those years ago in World War 2 – even if army rations would never have allowed him the pleasure of tasting local cuisine.
The restaurant, which claims to be ‘York’s first family run authentic Gurkha restaurant,’ was lovely from the offset – painted pictures of Mount Everest and little hill villages adorned the walls, colourful prayer flags draped down from the ceilings and some small tables were lined up by the staircase with cushions for customers to sit on – I suppose if they wanted to dine in true Nepalese fashion.
The menu featured Gurkha lagers and a selection of meat and vegetable curries and noodle dishes. Allergens were clearly displayed on the menu next to each dish and there was a wide array of gluten and dairy free dishes – ordering had never been so easy!
For starters I opted for the Chicken Choila, which derives from the Kathmandu Valley and consists of spiced grilled meat. The menu didn’t lie when it said it was spicy, but the tender chicken and intense flavour was very enjoyable, even if I did have to swig back half a glass of wine to cool my mouth down.
Next up for mains I ordered the Everest Lamb – fresh from the foothills of Nepal as the menu stated. The lamb came served in a beautiful brass cup looking like a big scoop of delicious ice cream. Adorned with fresh tomato and herbs on the top to finish, the dish looked impressive before I’d even dug my spoon in. The lamb was plentiful and so very tender, the spice was just right and the sauce was exquisite. I had never tasted anything quite like it and I really persevered to eat every mouthful.
Overall, the experience was a great one and I felt really chuffed to have discovered a Gurkha restaurant on my stay in York. Before I’d even paid the bill, (the price was very reasonable by the way), I was already Googling if there were any Nepalese restaurants in the Birmingham area. If you’ve never tried Nepalese food and want to transport yourself away to the foothills of the Himalayas, do it – it’s an experience not to be missed!