When he moved to Oxford, the washing machine became Yeshi’s best bud. It was his greatest thrill – he’d never had one before. Back in Tibet he’d washed his clothes by hand in the river. In India I remember him pounding my pants on the stones outside his room.
Soon enough, however, Yeshi quit washing clothes altogether. That’s my job now – a lifetime’s penance for Yeshi’s brief stint scrubbing my intimates pieces.
Or maybe it’s something to do with his rejection of modern conveniences per se. He’s a firm believer that the human hand always achieves the best results, and this is never truer than in the kitchen.
Our chefs make tens of thousands of momos every year, and we have bought expensive dough mixers in our time, but none has pleased the big boss yet. Even during festival season, when we up the momo ante, you’ll find our team doing all the kneading by hand (machines produce a dough that Yeshi finds too tough). As for our momo wrappers, we use rolling pins and rely on the naked eye: cookie cutters have never had a place in our kitchens.
Yeshi always says that deliciousness resides in those rough edges, and when it comes to vegetables he goes as far as to reject even knives at times. He finds that leafy veg (coriander, spinach and so on) tastes better when it’s shredded by hand, and western science appears to bear this out: tearing leaves helps to preserve essential nutrients that are released when a vegetable is cut. This affects their flavour: veggies that have been chopped can taste sharper or more bitter than those that have been torn.
It’s the same with peeling. Most nutrients, such as vitamins, lie close to the skin surface, so excessive scraping can reduce a vegetable’s nutritional value and compromise its natural sweetness. Yeshi makes little use of a peeler unless he has to. Most root vegetables and other veg that grows close to the dirt just need a good rinse and perhaps a scrub with a stiff brush.
Less waste, better taste. Some Tibetan tips (there are more in the cookbook) which should hopefully give you the confidence to prepare delicious and nutritious meals without all the gadgets (but might mean returning that new Christmas dough hook).
We’re open extended hours again this week – ★ Sundays are now go ★ if you missed the news. Here are our opening hours for the week:
Wednesday – Friday: 5-9.30pm (dinner only)
Saturday and Sunday: 12-3 (lunch) / 5-9.30pm (dinner)
Our menu is out now – check it! Come by for hot food and food for the freezer (some items were sold out last week but stocks are now back up). We also have plenty of chilli oil and pickled mooli radish. And don’t forget our chocolate tsampa truffles.
Looking forward to seeing you all!
Julie and Yeshi
Opening hours this week:
Weds – Fri: 5-9.30pm
Sat / Sun: 12-3pm 🥢 5-9.30pm
☏ 01865 499318