Disney World has a pan-Asian restaurant called Yak and Yeti—a salute to the shaggy-haired wild ox and the mythical Abominable Snowman. But there’s no need to go that far for adventuresome cuisine. If you enjoy the flavors of Nepal and India, you can now get the real deal in South City. The new place on South Kingshighway is called Himalayan Yeti. There’s even an attached park lot, an ample daily buffet, and friendly onsite owners.
A Lunch Hour Rendezvous
Recently Cyndy and I met up with Anne-Sophie, a French gourmet and fellow foodie. She had discovered the restaurant and invited us to join her. It was much past noon before we arrived, but the place was still abuzz and the buffet still being replenished.
“Eat Korma and Curry On”
I had the chance to meet Dipak Prasai, the Nepalese-born owner, who has lived in St. Louis for about 5 years. After having worked as a chef for Rasoi in the Central West End, he and Prem Prasai went out on their own. Their buffet menu is typical of Nepalese and Indian food. There’s chicken curry, chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, navratan korma, saag paneer, vegetable pakora, chai tea, naan and more.
But there were dishes I hadn’t tried. Such things as aloo sabji, a potatoes and black-eyed pea dish. (I missed my quota of black-eyed peas at New Years and hoped I could make up for it now.) Nor had I tried gulab jamum. a ball-shaped sweet. Much acclaimed by diners is the Himalayan momo, a chicken dumpling served fried or steamed. If all these names are confusing, here’s an extensive Indian food glossary, that shows what’s basic to these dishes.
Himalayan Yeti is, indeed, leaving a big culinary footprint in South City with its many classic pan-Asian dishes, as well as its tasty new offerings. Dipak is a charming young man, putting his heart into this business. I admire the entrepreneurial grit of young immigrants. They not only add to our cuisine, but our culture and economy as well.
Himalayan Yeti, 3515 S. Kingshighway. Open: Sun-Thu 11a-2:30p; 5p-10p; Fri-Sat 11a-2:30p; 5p-11p. Daily Lunch Buffet: $9.99.