PICS: RUBY TUESDAY
My quest for good food led me to a dingy little joint in Boudha, that many had sworn served the best Chinese food to be had this side of the border. No chop suey drowning in tomato ketchup or chili this and chili that which make up most menus at so called 'Chinese' restaurants, Yak serves authentic Chinese cuisine I was warned.
Well, they certainly weren't lying when they said the place was dingy. It is also grimy, sooty, and very basic. This however, did nothing to put me off from giving the place a fair chance, for I have been to enough fine-dining eateries where too much attention was given to décor, and none to the food.
The tingmos are the perfect accompaniment to mala tofu (Rs 130), silken cubes of the humble bean curd in a lush red chili sauce. The chicken with fungus (Rs 240), which are basically strips of stir fried meat with woody agaric, holds a crunch and could very well dethrone chicken chili from the top of my 'snacks that go perfect with alcohol' list.
One of the most expensive dishes on the menu is the spicy pork spare ribs at Rs 580 and it is a heaped platter of meaty goodness. The flesh falls off the bone and it comes all spiced with Sichuan pepper, spring onions, fermented soybeans, and chili flakes - nary a drop of tomato ketchup in sight.
Yak Restaurant is a place to go to with like-minded foodies who are ready to overlook the dirt and grime and who understand that to seek out good food, you have to explore dark and seedy alleys for the pleasure of digging (or in this case chopsticking) into bowls of gastronomic delights.