Open your senses


Last weekend I headed back ‘home’ to Bangor for a long overdue catch up with my best friend and to finally get out for our Christmas dinner, not per-say the traditional Christmas dinner of turkey and stuffing; but as a Christmas present to each other a dinner together for Christmas rather than an unneeded present.

Presence is definitely the best present!

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Any-who,to the food!  We decided that we would book a table at the local Nepalese restaurant (on Abbey Street in Bangor, for any local readers).  I had been once before, but Sarah hadn’t and was keen to try it.  I’d definitely say she’s more adventurous than me when it comes to trying different cuisines, and to be honest with you if my friend Karla hadn’t introduced me to Yaks and Nepalese food months before I would never have picked it. That’s the great thing about friends, they introduce you to things you’d never leave your comfort zone to do yourself.

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‘Nepalese cuisine comprises a variety of cuisines based upon ethnicity, soil and climate relating to Nepal’s cultural diversity and geography.’

For more information and background on Nepalese food, check out this fantastic post A Guide To The Dishes and Food Of Nepal from The Culture Trip.  It is definitely a lot more informative than my description ‘it’s a bit like Indian, but not as heavy and rich’.

THE FOOD

In this post I’m going to share with you the food from both of the visits I’ve made, to try to show you a bit of a range of the food Yaks serve.

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A bit like when you go to an Indian restaurant, you are instantly greeted with poppadoms and a range of dips/sides.  I swear I could eat these all day, they are delicious and none of the dips aren’t massively spicy, which is good for a wimp like me!  I’m not sure of their exact name, but the bottom one is like a yogurt style (fresh and fragrant), the top left is like a chutney, sweet and spicy with onions and then the top right is a delicious sweet sauce (can you tell this was my favourite?).

THE STARTERS

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The first time I went with my friend Karla we went for the Veg Momo; special Nepalese street food, with aromatic sauce. Momo are Nepal’s version of dumplings, and usually contain steamed vegetables or meat. For me I found the sauce a bit too hot so I just had a small amount.

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The next time I went with Sarah (last weekend) we were going to share 2 starters, but was recommend by our server to go for the Yak’s Vegetarian Special, which included; Onion Bites, Chapat, Veg Samosas, and Paneer Chilli.

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The good thing about my friends is they too love food like me and love bread, so of course we ordered Naan bread.  Pretty much Sarah and I order ALL THE NAAN!  We went the side of the Chef’s Special Naan Basket, which is an assortment of three Naans and just got that with our starter to have throughout our meal.  This trio included a Plain Naan, Peshwari Naan (a sweet naan) and a Garlic Naan.

THE MAINS

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This is the Dal Vat Tarkari – a traditional Nepalese style dining suitable for vegetarians.  My friend Karla is veggie, this is what she had ordered when we went the first time and I just loved how cute it looked, all coming out in little individual ‘gold’ bowls on a ‘gold’ tray.  The little bowls contain; lentils, seasonal vegetable curry, saag, a chutney and rice, it also comes with a side of naan.

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The staff in Yaks really are fantastic at helping you choose your meal if you are unsure as to what to get or where to start.  I explained how I was a wimp when it came to spicy food and they recommended this Himalayan Masu that I chose with a chicken base.  It’s a curry cooked with thick ginger, garlic, coriander and yogurt.  Absolutely delicious and served with a side of Pilau Rice.

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After loving how cute Karla’s Dal Vat Tarkari was I decided last weekend to go for the meat equivalent Dal Vat Masu which is  traditional Nepalese style dining with meat and includes; lentils, chicken or lamb curry, saag, a chutney and rice, it also comes with a side of naan, but we didn’t need it because we had the trio from our starters.

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Sarah decided to actually go for the main I had had with Karla and went for the Himalayan Masu but with prawns instead of the chicken that I had and and she to went for the Pilau Rice.

THE DESSERTS

Now by the time it came to desserts last week Sarah and I were absolutely stuffed so it was out of the questions.  However the time I went with Karla, well of course we tried both desserts and shared them; I mean it would have been rude not to and I’d never tried either of  these before.

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On the left is Kulfi or Qulfi  which is a popular frozen dairy dessert originating from the Indian subcontinent during Mughal India. It is often described as “traditional Indian ice cream”.  It tastes a bit like frozen condensed milk and is VERY sweet.  On the right is Gulab these are a milk-solid-based sweet from the Indian subcontinent, popular in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, as well as Myanmar. Again SWEET, these are like cake balls soaked in a sugar syrup.  Both were tasty, but for me just way to sweet and I could take or leave them.

THE VERDICT

I absolutely loved Yaks, the staff are all so friendly, they offer advice on foods, they check to see that all is OK, and not when you are in the middle of eating, they are genuine and sincere that you have a good time and the meal is all at your own pace.  The food comes out quickly, but if you need a bit of a break between courses they offer you this and check when you are ready, never once are you rushed!  The food is also so fresh and delicious, packed with flavour!  The price is also fantastic, when we went last week we had all I described above plus a bottle of wine for £67 and then we were given complimentary Prosecco and a Bailey’s each.

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On top of it all, and to top it all off they sent us home with a Naan I didn’t get with my main, remember because we got ALL THE NAAN with the trio for starter and the pieces we had left over from the trio.

To have a look at Yaks menu for either sitting in the restaurant or as a delivery this is all on their website.  If you are in the area or are looking to try something new I would most definitely try here!

Yaks on Facebook              Yaks on instagram              Yaks website

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