Yak and Yeti

I have a bit of a fascination with the Himalayas. When I was in High School I read lots of books about Tibet. I read about women walking solo in Tibet, the Dalai Lama’s autobiography, Vikram Seth’s walk from Tibet to India (through Nepal), Tenzing’s account of climbing Everest with Hillary and a book about a Chinese doctor travelling to Tibet because her husband had died there. I couldn’t get enough of it. The beautiful high mountains drew me in and I became interested in the Bhuddist culture. I was also intrigued by the idea of people living on rancid yak butter tea (it was always rancid in the travel books) with tsampa (ground barley). Now that I’m a coeliac I won’t be tasting the tsampa, but I jumped at the chance to try butter tea (although the butter was neither rancid nor from a yak). The opportunity came up because Tibetan butter tea features on the menu of the Yak and Yeti restaurant in Glebe. I was happy to hear we had a dinner scheduled at an untried restaurant, but once I’d seen the menu I was really excited.


I loved the pictures of Annapurna and Dhaulgiri on the walls. They certainly enhanced my hunger to see these mountains. Luckily my hunger for dinner could be satisfied more quickly with my first taste of Nepalese food. It is very similar to Indian food, but was mostly quite mild. There was a choice of basmati, chapatis or pilau to eat with. There was also fried rice, which was not like Chinese version, but it still seemed odd to have fried rice with curry.


We started with entrees. Most of them were deep fried, so I only tried the chicken. It had a beautiful barbequed flavour and went well with the hot roast chillis and capsicum. It was also served with dahl and rice flakes.


I’ve only got photos of some of the mains. My favourite was actually the dahl, which was quite watery and a little salty, but really warming and comforting. I didn’t get a photo though because it was eaten so quickly. Another interesting thing I noticed was that the goat meat was nicer than the lamb and didn’t have any bones. One of the lamb dishes was quite spicy, but the rest of the food was mild. The channa (chickpeas, pictured above) also had a touch of spice.


The mis mas was a bit disappointing since it tasted mostly of tomato and not much else. It had a good mix of coloured veggies though.


The aloo dish, with potato and bamboo shoots, was a mild curry. This is real Northern food, mild and homely. The only curry I noticed with coconut milk was a prawn one, which I guess must be a ring-in from somewhere with a coastline rather than landlocked Nepal.


Last but not least I want to tell you about the Tibetan butter tea. I’m sure your hanging out to find out what it was like and I was certainly anticipating the opportunity to live my dream. It arrived in a pot and it was very frothy!


The flavour of butter was there and the tea was just slightly salty. It was as if you’d taken a bite of buttered toast followed by a mouthful of milky tea. It wasn’t nearly as strange as I’d expected after all those books. I wonder if Yak and Yeti has toned down their tea for Sydney tastes, or if the travel books were spinning a good exaggerated yarn about foreign food. In any case it was exciting to try it, and quite pleasant to drink. I’ll certainly try it again when I get the opportunity.

Yak and Yeti
41 Glebe Point Rd

Ratings (out of 5 snorts)

Price 3 snorts
Taste 4 snorts
Service 3 snorts
Atmosphere 4 snorts

17 thoughts on “Yak and Yeti

  1. An interesting place to eat! I’ve never had Tibetan or Nepalese food… All dishes look fantastic!



  2. I must say, I’m another person who hasnt tried Nepalese food. There are quite a few places around Melbourne to try it, but I’ve never had the opportunity. It does certainly look interesting.

    I had never heard of butter tea before reading your blog. It sure does sound different. If you leave it sitting for long enough does the butter start to separate out? I can see in your last photo that some of the butter is sitting on top, did you have to stir it much? and did you add sugar? sorry…. so many questions…only because its so interesting. One more….do you think it could be made at home?

  3. How intriguing. I love Tibetan art & culture but have never had a window on their cuisine, until now & here, that is. Great read through Arwen.
    BTW, I hang the yogurt up for approximately 24 hours. 3-4 hours out over the kitchen counter, & then transfer it to the fridge where it hangs overnight. Sorry for the late reply. Have a good day! :0)

  4. I assume you’ve read Three Cups of Tea? I’ve been intrigued by the yak’s butter tea ever since reading that. Now you just need to come up with a recipe so that we can all make it at home (or a substitute for it)

  5. Butter Tea? How did they make it, I wonder? I just love vegetarian food, used to be a vegetarian of 7 years before I was pregnant with my kids (need more iron!). Food like this always is safe for me. I do find them agreeing better to my body than bread or other grain and dairy products. Wish I were there hehehe…

  6. Sounds great!
    I’ve had butter tea in China, and I think that the butter used was rancid (which I think is a bit normal), so it was revolting! Would love to try it again though. I have only been to the Nepalese Kitchen in Surry Hills, and I don’t think that they serve it there. Should go to Yak and Yeti! 🙂

  7. “It was as if you’d taken a bite of buttered toast followed by a mouthful of milky tea” I am solllddd! I want to tryyy! Oh also try out Nepalese cuisine too mmmm

  8. My grandmother put a little bit of butter in her coffee which I thought was weird. But now I find myself doing that from time to time when nobody’s watching (oh, the pressure of having to conform to society …). But this butter tea thing is new to me. I’ve never had Yak’s milk, but I bet it must be even more gamey than goat’s milk. Thanks for always having something interesting to share with us. 🙂

  9. that butter tea looks really tasty (well, compared other photos/descriptions i’ve seen/read). it does always seem to be rancid in travel books, doesn’t it?

    sounds like you had a decent meal, which is always good when you’re trying something new 🙂

  10. You have a lovely and fascinating blog! Beautiful photos and stories. I found the worm post especially interesting because my son’s school actually bought a few buckets of something similar to be used by the cafeteria for their waste.
    And the butter tea…that looks and sounds like something I would absolutely adore!
    Thank you for commenting on my blog! It’s always nice to get *proof* that there’s real live pepole reading along!
    I agree about the garlic…It will be so much fresher and tastier. I’ve only grown tomatoes and lettuce and a few herbs, but all of the above were so much better than store bought, in every respect. Do you have much experience growing your own food?
    As for talking to the plants, I don’t really. My kids talk so much that when there’s *any* quiet I try not to fill it with anything, he he!

  11. Hi Lorraine – it’s worth a try next time you’re in Glebe.

    Hi Anita – I have a long list of things to try too!

    Hi Rosa – Nepalese is a lot like Indian food, but not as spicy.

    Hi Maria – the butter tea had no sugar. It was very frothy, so they must have mixed it really well. It only just started to separate on my second cup.

    Hi Deeba – thanks for the times on the hung yoghurt. I’ll have to try your icecream now.

    Hi Joie de vivre – I’ll have to read Three Cups of Tea. It sounds like a good book. I’ll go library hunting.

    Hi Arfi – I didn’t realise you were an ex-vegetarian. I love vegetarian food, but I do still eat meat.

    Hi Lili – ew, so it really was rancid butter in China. Sounds revolting!

    Hi Ffichiban – definitely try Nepalese, it’s yum.

    Hi K – butter tea is so cool and unusual. I’ve never had the chance to try it until now.

    Hi Leela – if you’ve tried butter in coffee I’ll have to try making butter tea at home.

    Hi Shez – I’m glad it wasn’t served rancid like the travel books.

    Hi Kate – glad you like the snorts 🙂

  12. Pingback: Himalayan Salted Butter Tea recipe @ Not Quite Nigella

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