Yeshi’s family are semi-nomadic. This means that they are not on the road all the time. For six months of every year they keep their animals inside their own home: the yaks, sheep and goats stay on the ground floor of the house, providing body heat from below, and the extended family live one floor up, cooking, eating and sleeping next to a central hearth, which keeps everyone fed, watered and warm during the year’s coldest months.
In early spring, some members of the family take their herd up into the mountains. They move them from one pasture to the next, collecting milk and making butter along the way. This butter goes into their tea, which fuels them at high altitude, and into their tsampa, (a nutty-tasting barley flour that you’ll be familiar with if you’ve tried the chocolate tsampa truffles at our restaurant – or from our cookbook).
As a young person Yeshi chose not to go to school, accompanying family members and their livestock on these annual treks up on the Plateau instead. The nomadic existence is all that he knew until he left Tibet aged 19 for pastures new. He has clocked up all manner of experiences since then, but it’s the nomadic life that he misses the most. There was a timeless quality to it, a peacefulness and tranquility that nothing else comes close to.
Taste Tibet started out as a street food stall. The here-and-there nature of the work suited Yeshi, and having learned to cook inside a yak hair tent, there was nothing that fazed him about setting up a field kitchen or cooking over a naked flame. Festival life may not be as serene as the nomadic existence, but the pull is still strong for Yeshi! Starting soon, we’re off on the road again to events near and far, big and small.
Our plan was never to close the restaurant while we dust off our Tibetan tent, but this year, like everyone else in our industry, we have struggled to put together a team that is big enough and strong enough to manage the restaurant and our festival stall at the same time. This means that after close of service on Saturday 14th May our takeaway on Magdalen Road will be shut until the end of June.
If you would like to stock up on our freezer food before we break, we’re open all the usual hours this week, as follows:
Thursday-Saturday: 12-3 / 5-9.30pm
We have good stocks of everything in our freezers at the moment, except momos. We are hoarding these as we have some major events during May and June (the Hay Literary Festival and Glastonbury among them), and we can never make enough of these parcels of pure pleasure to satisfy the punters. See Yeshi posing wistfully into the distance next to our new trailer here? The aim is to fill this beast with momos before each festival. But while we make and stockpile, you can always buy our momos hot for home freezing yourself – just make sure to catch us this weekend.
Join us for indoor and outdoor dining this week, or to take away. Our menu for the week is now live. Last time in a while now – come and get it!
Looking forward to seeing you,
Julie and Yeshi