As we eagerly await word on the status of our visa applications for India, we are in a sort of limbo. All flights and hotels are bought and/or booked, and we have done plenty of preliminary work looking through guidebooks and websites about what to see and do in each place.
But nothing consumes our thoughts about this upcoming trip quite as much as the food we will be enjoying there. We love Indian food and eat it fairly regularly, but we have always tended to order the same few dishes we know we like. Now, a little over two months out, we realize we need to expand our culinary horizon a bit to include many other dishes we will likely encounter in our travels.
In addition to India, we are spending a few days in Nepal. As we learned to our delight last summer at a festival in Union Square, there is a well established Nepali population in our area. So last night we visited Yak & Yeti, on Broadway in Somerville, which serves both Nepali and Indian food.
From outside, the restaurant has an unassuming storefront, but inside two small rooms are delightfully decorated, with a Himalayan mural in one room, and whimsical string art covering the wall of the other. We were greeted immediately and offered our choice of tables. Service was pleasant, and prompt, and a small plate of complimentary pakoras were brought to the table. We had a restaurant.com gift certificate that required us to spend a certain amount, so we ordered a bit more than we would have normally.
We decided to order primarily from the Nepali section of the menu. The only Nepali food we’d had before were momos, small dumplings filled with meat or vegetables. At the Nepali festival in our neighborhood last year, they were covered in a savory gravy, and then a hot sauce. Yak & Yeti served them more formally, “nude” on a platter with a hot chutney for dipping. We opted for the vegetable momos, which were very good, and the dough was thinner (and therefore lighter) than we had before. A second appetizer, Bhedako Sekuwa, small lamb pieces marinated in spices and then grilled, was very flavorful but a little tough (it’s the only dish we likely would not order again).
For entrées, we had Pharsiko Tarkari, mashed pumpkin that was flavored with garlic, ginger and other spices. It was so savory and delicious I made sure to take the leftovers home. Kukhurako Tarkari, a chicken dish, was quite good as well. Small boneless pieces of chicken in a spicy tomato-based sauce, also with lots of garlic, ginger and other spices. All entrées come with basmati rice, which was fragrant and perfectly cooked.
The only Indian item we ordered was garlic naan, which was lighter and crisper than naan we’ve had elsewhere. It was a bit less garlicky than we like but we enjoyed the difference in texture, since we had really ordered a lot of food.
An additional nice touch were the two mint chocolates brought at the end of dinner, with the bill. We would definitely return to Yak & Yeti. One final note, if you go: they do not serve beer or wine. But with proximity to Magoun and Davis Squares, it’s easy enough to enjoy some great food, and then take a nice evening stroll and grab a drink elsewhere, if that’s your pleasure.
Now, where are those visas…