Walking by the Himalayan Yak Restaurant in Jackson Heights, Queens produces all sorts of images in my mind. One image that stands out is that of a giant hairy cow wearing wooden bells and trudging slowly up a Nepali mountain range. I was curious. Did this place actually serve Yak? Was the name a mere trap to lure in adventurous diners? Whatever the case may have been, I persuaded a friend to check it out with me. Upon entering the large wooden doors into the dimly lit restaurant, we noticed a bunch of empty chairs that seemed to beckon us to take a seat. Our kind waitress lead us to our table. Needless to say, the dinner rush had yet to catch up with us. We sat and grazed the two menus, one with traditional Nepali entrees and the second with the yak specials. Being fond of worldly soups, we started the evening with the Chasha Kho-wa, a chicken soup with ginger, corn, and cilantro (tomato and spinach were printed in the menu description but failed to make an appearance in the actual bowl). This was a refreshing precursor to the heavy yak dumplings that came next. Steamed and slightly chewy, the dumplings were filled with ground yak meat. For those who have not tried the delicacy, it is similar to pork and ground beef but with a more chewy texture. The little pieces of dough wrapped up a big taste that filled our stomachs for the entire evening. For diners that are less experimental, they have several chicken, beef and vegetarian dishes. We ended the night with a traditional, though not highly recommended, dessert of Bkaktcha Marku. In the menu it is described as a handmade pasta lightly rolled in a roasted barley, sugar and grated cheese sauce, like a Nepali twist on the American favorite, macaroni and cheese. This was a delightfully sweet end to our dining adventure. Be sure to check out this wondrous place Friday through Tuesday, when you can hear live music.
The Himalayan Yak Restaurant- 72-20 Roosevelt Blvd Jackson Heights