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A taste of Tibet in Kathmandu

Tenzing Nyiden says, "Tibetan food is more subtle and does not have too many spices in it. It is simple and balanced.”

2021 Oct 07, 8:23, Kathmandu

It was a cold day, the wind was blowing and it looked like it was going to rain which obviously set the mood for comfort food.

My colleague and I were walking down the streets of Nursing Chowk, Thamel when my eyes landed on Little Tibet’s beautiful signboard.

While I had never been there, I could not resist.

As we were heading up the stairs I was not sure what to expect. But we were welcomed by a cosy space.

The whole theme of the restaurant circles the Tibetan culture and it is a perfect place to be if you want a cosy time with your friends, family, or a loved one.

Staff sanitizing the customers.
Staff sanitizing the customers.

They have indoor seating with a little balcony on the side to just watch people and vehicles pass by.

While I was looking for comfort food, looking at their menu it was impossible for me not to try something new.

For starters, I ordered their Buff Gyuma, Tibetian blood sausage, and their pan-fried buff amdo Sha phaley. I also ordered their Tsampa soup as it was very cold.

Frying Shyafaley
Frying Shyafaley
Ghuma (Tibetan Sausage)
Ghuma (Tibetan Sausage)

Owner of Little Tibet, Tenzing Nyiden says, “Since Nepali people like spicy food, there are times when customers do not like the cuisines that we serve. Tibetan food is more subtle and does not have too many spices in it. It is simple and balanced.”

In no time we got our orders and as I took a bite from their buff amdo Sha phaley, I got what Nyiden was talking about.

The minced meat inside was well balanced and did not have too much seasoning on it.

The outer layer made with flour was not too thick and since it was pan-fried it was not too oily as well, which balanced the flavour well.

As I dipped a piece of Shya Phaley in the tomato pickle served on the side, the bite was flavourful and it added a kick to the dish.

Pan-fried shyafaley.
Pan-fried shyafaley.

Then I jumped into the Gyuma, which I had tried before and was not a big fan of.

 But Nyiden had insisted that I would like it. “While other places add blood to the sausage, we only use fresh minced meat, salt, and some special spices. There are many people who have come up to us and said I never liked Gyuma but here it is different. We also do not deep fry it, we boil it first and then pan fry it,” she explained.

While I was very skeptical about trying it, when I took a piece of the sausage, I actually liked it.

Since they do not use blood, the flavor was not overpowering and it was okay for me.

I was so surprised I liked Gyuma that I forgot about their special soup.

Tsmpa soup with cheese
Tsmpa soup with cheese

“We make our Tsampa soup with barley flour that we usually eat with tea. In the soup we use a little bit of turmeric, cheese, flour, salt, and fresh coriander,” says Nyiden.

The taste of the soup was well balanced, and I could taste the cheesiness in it.

It tasted so good, that I alone finished the whole bowl of it.

Bhutnese dish, datchi
Bhutnese dish, datchi

I was almost full but then came Da Pow which is technically big momos. And as Nepalis, we all know momo is the best comfort food.

The texture and flavour were as expected. The outer layer did not overpower the minced meat inside.

The meat was very juicy but it did not make the outer layer soggy at all.

Finally, it was time for the main course, for which I had ordered their Bhutanese set comes with a choice of datshi. There are three options of datshi- mushroom, potato and chili peppers along with a choice of Paa (buff, chicken and pork). We also serve dry meat Paa either buff or pork which in Bhutanese is called Shakam Paa ( buff ) and Sikam Paa( pork dry meat )

Bhutnese pork curry
Bhutnese pork curry

Nyiden says they put datshi which means fresh cheese curd that gives the dish a creamy flavour, then comes Pa which has three options either pork, buff, or chicken. Pa is a dry meat curry that usually comes with radish, spinach, and Bhutanese chili.

Red rice
Red rice

As I took a spoonful of potato curry with red rice, the taste was so creamy and the potato piece was perfectly flavoured. For people who like cheese, I am sure you would love this one.

Phaksha Pa on the other hand had stronger flavours due to the red chilies and spices that they had used. This one was perfect for people who like spicy food.

While I was on the hunt for comfort food, I ended up in a place that not only serves good comfort food but has something different to try.

Little Tibet started in 2019 and will complete its third year serving its customers this December.

Nyiden says, “COVID-19 was not a great experience for me at all but the love of our customers kept us going. Now, we at Little Tibet are hopeful that things will work out. We are also planning to add something new to the menu soon. We also have Nepali khana set if they are not looking for something new to try.”

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littletibetnepal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/littletibetnepal/

Phone No.: 01-5342656

Address: Nursing chowk, Thamel


cold day comfort food Little Tibet Pork Ghuma Sha phaley blood sausage cosy Tsampa soup momos Da Pow Bhutanese cuisine Phaksha Pa red rice Restaurant Reviews
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