No Reservations was an Anthony Bourdain show – maybe you’ve watched it. Travelling the world and eating at the kinds of places you couldn’t or wouldn’t want to book in at, he highlighted the struggles of marginalised people, while championing their cuisines along the way. Bourdain never made it to Tibet, the land of no reservations ever, but in his series Parts Unknown he did sample butter tea in Bhutan (pictured).
I learned very quickly after meeting Yeshi that reservations, appointments, dates and making plans are concepts that are all largely absent in Tibetan daily life. In Tibet, if you want to see someone, you go and see them. Until recently, there was no way to communicate with a friend or relative in the next valley, so you just walked or jumped on your horse and went over there.
By the time I met Yeshi in Dharamsala, a Tibetan settlement in northern India, most people had phones and even email, but old habits die hard. Yeshi’s friends would not only swing by at whim, but they’d throw the door open without knocking either. Often we’d be mid-meal or mid-something more compromising.
When Taste Tibet was a mobile set-up, it wasn’t possible to make reservations, and that suited Yeshi just fine. Now that we have fixed premises, people often call up or email and request to book. We have decided not to go down this route partly because it makes things more complicated for our team, but mostly because this isn’t a concept that Yeshi is comfortable with. In Tibet, reserving a table isn’t possible – you just turn up. This way everyone is in with the same fair chance, and that’s something that’s important to us as well – we’re all about making Taste Tibet as accessible as possible.
A very long way of saying no bookings please, we’re Tibetan!
We are open our usual hours this week, as follows:
Wednesday: 5-9.30pm (dinner only)
Thursday -Saturday: 12-3pm (lunch) / 5-9.30pm (dinner)
Come for takeaway, to dine in or home delivery through Foodstuff. This week’s menu is live on the website now.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Julie and Yeshi
P.S. Did you catch us on Radio 4 this week? The surreal and amazing continues. Scroll to 2 mins 50 to hear Taste Tibet on Sunday’s The Food Programme.
Opening hours this week:
Thurs – Sat: 12-3pm 5-9.30pm
☏ 01865 499318