Monday, 18 January 2010

Yak & Yeti, Crystal Palace

We're not short of an Indian restaurant or two in the Palace and most of them aren't too bad either. Viva Goa stands out for its concentration on regional cuisine - the surest cure for the winter blues I know of.

But, folks, we have a new contender for Best Indian Restaurant in the Palace. I give you Yak & Yeti on Church Road, featuring Nepalese and Indian cuisine. I have eaten in and taken out and both times, it's been wondrous. Let me expound.

Tha Papri Chat - that tangy tamarind-laced starter with potatoes and crisp breads and chillies is enough the stimulate the appetite - and the Momo dumplings (vegetarian on our visit), a Kathmandu Valley delicacy, are delicately spiced and not overly heavy.

Kukhura Palak is chicken cooked with spinach, a mild creamy dish with enough interest in the spicing to stop you falling asleep. Achari Gosht was a rich tangy lamb dish, cooked in yoghurt with pickling spices - there was no one spice dominating, just a gentle harmony of the whole. I managed to sneak a spoonful of Seafood Mismas - prawns, scallops and shrimps cooked with ginger, garlic, lemon, cumin and coconut milk - The Pescatarian had trouble holding on to the rest of it. Lamb Nepal, barbecued and cooked with mango was sweet without being sickly and suprisingly butch in its delivery.

Naans are uber-fresh and taste it; the standard paneer dish is lifted to new heights with fenugreeek leaves and leave room to scoop up the Baigan Bharta - smoked aubergine pulp - with any naan you've got left.

The house wine is reasonable value and food-match at around £11 and dishes come in at around £2-£4 for a starter and £6-£7.25 for a generous main. I would also just add at the point that both times I dined under the influence of ongoing virus/tonsilitis and that I could still taste and revel in the flavours on offer was a small miracle in itself.

Not many venture to this end of the Triangle, most choosing to stay within reach of Gurkha Cottage. But for my money, once you've made it to the White Hart for a mulled cider, why go back down Westow St to the old when you could hop over the road and embrace the new?

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