Weds - Fri 5-9.30pm 🍴  Sat / Sun 12-3pm / 5-9.30pm

Migration And Restaurants

We’re a proud immigrant family. Our kids call themselves Tibetan, even though they’re half British. Then again, they’re barely British. My own mother was born in Egypt and was stateless before she married my dad, who was of German descent. As Jews, my parents were from here, there and everywhere. Migration is in our DNA.

It’s in the lifeblood of Taste Tibet as well. Sometimes we worry that our menu isn’t Tibetan enough, but Yeshi spent almost as long in India as he did inside Tibet, so his cooking is more than just the plates of his childhood. Surely that’s a bonus, rather than a problem.

Immigrants struggle with identity, but let’s face it they struggle with a lot more besides. The Rwanda asylum bill is making the headlines, but how much have you absorbed of the Home Secretary’s new measures to “slash migration” in the UK as well? The plan is to increase the minimum salaries that overseas workers and British or settled people sponsoring family members must earn, and to tackle exploitation across the immigration system.

Under current regulations, a settled person must demonstrate earnings of £18,600 to sponsor a significant other. From next spring, this minimum income requirement will rise to £38,700. For Skilled Workers, like Yeshi’s brother, the government is planning a 50% increase to the minimum salary threshold, pricing out anyone but the highest skilled applicants.

As for exploiting the system, I’d like to know how migrants could have pulled this off in the first place. Yeshi was able to migrate to the UK because I fulfilled the financial conditions stipulated for me as his sponsor. His brother arrived here this year on a Skilled Worker visa when he demonstrated that he met the requirements set out for him by our government. Meeting the rules is not exploiting the rules.

We’re unlikely to be able to bring over any more Tibetan chefs for the foreseeable future. This is sad for Taste Tibet, but the new laws may be disastrous for our industry as a whole. We have just about survived Brexit. Won’t this next set of constraints simply kill us off? Diversity and difference are everything in the restaurant kitchen: journeys and migration make for unique and delicious dishes.

We’re going to take a break. The restaurant will be open the usual hours this week, but from SUNDAY 17th DECEMBER we will be closed for R&R. We reopen on FRIDAY 5th JANUARY – watch this space for more details. Here are our opening hours this week:

Wednesday – Friday: 5-9.30pm (dinner only)
Saturday: 12-3 (lunch) / 5-9.30pm (dinner)

Our menu is out now – check it!

Come by for hot food and food for the freezer: you will need this to tide you over while our doors are closed. Chilli oil and pickled mooli radish are on the shelves and also online. And don’t forget our chocolate tsampa truffles – we can bag these up pretty for you for a Christmas gift. We also sell gift vouchers

Cookbooks! A reminder that we throw in a top tier TT tote bag with every purchase of the Taste Tibet cookbook in store (keep your eyes peeled for a fab new reel landing this week starring Chef as the TT tote model – an Instagram exclusive!). Otherwise you can find signed copies at Waterstones Oxford and at Caper, Magdalen Road’s new independent bookshop.

Hope to see you before doors close for Christmas,

Julie and Yeshi

Opening hours this week:
Weds – Fri: 5-9.30pm
Sat: 12-3pm 🥢 5-9.30pm
☏ 01865 499318

🎵 All I want for Christmas 🎵 is an Amazon review 🙏🏽 Thank you so much

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The Restaurant is Closed!

We’re away all summer at festivals. The online shop is open but there may be a short delay with dispatch. The restaurant in Oxford will reopen on 06/09/24. Thank you for bearing with us!

We Are Closed!

Our chefs are in Tibet and the restaurant will be closed until 15/05/24. The online shop is open but deliveries will be made after 13/05/24. Thank you for bearing with us and see you soon!