Over the Christmas period, I visited family in Ross-on-Wye; a small historical market town near Herefordshire. As a town, Ross-on-Wye isn’t a very exciting place to visit. Aside from strolling around the quaint little shops, exploring the countryside and the River Wye, and visiting nearby Goodrich Castle, there’s not a great deal to do in Ross-on-Wye. I often wonder how I managed to stick it out for almost two years whilst studying for my A-levels.
However, despite its setbacks, Ross-on-Wye has some good food to offer, with a number of independently owned restaurants and cafes based in the town centre. It is home to one of my favourite restaurants of all-time, Yaks ‘n’ Yetis, on Brookend Street.
Opened over 20 years ago by ex-Gurkha soldiers, Yaks ‘n’ Yetis serves a tantalising choice of Nepalese, Thai and Tibetan cuisine. Everything is cooked fresh to order, as mild or as spicy as you like it. The restaurant underwent a refurbishment in July of last year, which saw a new sign placed above the restaurant front and the removal of the floor cushions at the rear of the restaurant (where you were previously able to dine on the floor, in true Gurkha style) but the menu has largely remained the same for many years.
I don’t get to visit Yaks ‘n’ Yetis much because of its location, but whenever I visit, I’m always made to feel at home. The friendly team is so hospitable and attentive to guests’ needs, while also managing to develop a rapport and enjoy a spot of friendly banter.
As we pondered over the menu, I sipped on a traditional pale Gurkha beer, brewed in Nepal, while my guest opted for a cup of aromatic Himalayan tea.
Keen to taste different flavours, we ordered the two-course set meal for two people (£14.50 per person). To start, two golden poppadoms were accompanied by a selection of dips, fragrant steamed pork momos with a spicy, garlicky tomato chutney, crispy vegetable samosas, and crunchy golden vegetable bhajis.
One of the main course dishes was listed as chicken Kathmandu curry but we requested to change this to another dish because, as mouth-wateringly irresistible as the curry is, we were keen to taste one of my favourite dishes on the menu, khursani kukhura; a vibrant, rich dish of battered chicken strips cooked with onion, chillies, garlic and ginger. The restaurant was more than happy to honour our request, and the khursani kukhura was accompanied by a large bowl of fluffy boiled rice; just the right amount for two people.
A mound of egg noodles fried with mixed vegetables, spices, soy sauce and garnished with coriander and onions, was also included with our main course, alongside a bowl of saag; fresh spinach leaves tossed with ginger, garlic, Nepalese herbs and spices.
Having polished off our Himalayan feast, we were too stuffed for dessert, although the dishes being reeled off by the guests at the adjacent table did a great job of tempting us; yoghurt with honey and ice cream with fresh cherries would’ve gone down well, had we saved some more room.
If you happen to be passing through Ross-on-Wye, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Yaks ‘n’ Yetis. The food is authentic, fresh and practically exploding with flavour. I’ve been to restaurants serving Himalayan cuisine before, but nothing has cut the mustard in the way that Yaks ‘n’ Yetis does. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, but always book in advance as it has a tendency to get pretty packed out.
Have you ever tasted Himalayan food? Where were you, and what did you think of it?
Yaks ‘n’ Yetis
1 Brookend Street
01989 564 963
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