(Anghrija by training is a lawyer and a dear friend with whom I have shared a special bond over momos and things that are edible. She pens down this post on Yeti our favourite haunt in Hauz Khas Village, Delhi. Happy reading!)
Hidden away somewhere between the concrete jungle of Greenpark and Hauz Khas are the majestic ruins and the urban village of Hauz Khas. I remember going there the first time, about 5 years back, as a student. All I remember from that time are the South Indian restaurant Naivedyam and the North Indian food joint – Park Baluchi, and of course, the sprawling Deer Park. Apart from the ruins, I did not find anything to note. Perhaps, it had something to do with the time of the visit (winter night, and pitch dark), or that, as a student, I could barely afford what Hauz Khas Village(HKV) had to offer.
The next time I visited HKV, I could take in the full extent of this urban village. Streets and by-lanes dotted with quaint shops – silver jewellery, arts and crafts, furniture, clothes – selling “ethnicity” and charm, and scores of big and small restaurants, pull one in. At the end of the main street, the ruins loom large and impressive. And then, right where the ruins begin, a small signboard, on the left, spells out Yeti – the Himalayan Restaurant. Bingo! Anyone who knows me knows my weakness for food that is Tibetan, Bhutanese, North-East Indian, etc. Darling “Itiriti,” the hostess of this blog, can vouch for my fondness for momos. In fact, food has been at the background of our friendship, always.
Anyways, the name drew me in, and I climbed up the stairs. As one enters Yeti, the first thing one notes is the welcoming smiles and the Buddhist chants playing in the background. Then one notices the brick layering and the rustic charm. I, especially, love the furniture – square wooden tables and chairs – very neat, spare and comfortable. And, the place overlooks the ruins!!! The hosts are typically dressed in “hill” attire, and are typically warm and cute. The menu is substantial, and can look a bit daunting to the uninitiated (what with the strange and unfamiliar names, etc.). However, the hosts are quick to explain what the names mean. And, by way of experience, I would say that you can pretty much order anything on that menu, and it will be good, except for that one time when one of their rice dishes was cooked in stale meat-stock. The food is served on time. The drinks menu is not really big by any standards, but they serve beer and vodka. What I love most about Yeti is the rustic warmth that it exudes; it makes way for friendly conversations between friends and strangers too. You can almost visibly notice people loosening up within minutes of entering the place. And, the food is to die for (and easy on the pocket, too)!!!
My Yeti favorites are gyuma (pork sauges), non-veg wai-wai sadeko (wai-wai tossed in lemon, with veggies and chicken), jadoh with dokhleh (Khasi specialty – rice cooked in meat stock with choice of pork/chicken), the buff momos, and the sweet lime.
Next time that you are at HKV, and are feeling the need to be rejuvenated, and you have a fondness for “hill” food, do visit Yeti. I promise that you will enjoy the experience.