Yak & Yeti: A Taste of the Himalayas on Xiangyang Lu

By Sophie Steiner, March 21, 2023

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The Place 

After almost 20 years working in F&B (including 13 in Shanghai – from Italian fine dining to Bund-adjacent nightclubs), Anup Rajbhandari has made the leap into opening his own place, Yak & Yeti, bringing Shanghai a taste of his cultural heritage and upbringing in Nepal.


Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Situated in half the old Smokehouse x Camel digs on Xiangyang Lu (the other half is a separate hotpot restaurant), the cozy 26-seater offers leveled seating – bar seats, mini booths and side window tables – circumnavigating a central bar, with room for an additional 12 outside. 

The Food 

Yak & Yeti’s chefs hail from Nepal and Yunnan; with the Tibetan Plateau and Indian Highlands connecting the two, the restaurant’s cuisine is all about the aromatic spices, fresh herbs and hearty protein-centric mains of the Himalayan mountains. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Starters begin with Himalayan Nachos (RMB38) – a veg blend of spiced carrots, cucumber, onion, scallions and peanuts to be scooped atop papadum crackers…

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…and Pani Puri (RMB48), India’s most beloved chaat – or street food – made from hollow, crispy wheat spheres stuffed with smashed chickpeas and masala spices.

Fill the puff from the carafe of tamarind, mint and cilantro-infused water, and take it down in one bite – an explosion of sour, sweet, spicy and earthy will overwhelm your taste buds, with a crunchy finish. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

On the grilled meat front, there’s the six-hour Himalayan spice-marinated Grilled Pork Sekuwa (RMB78), a pudgy slab of pork belly, fatty and charred...

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... or the yogurt-marinated Grilled Chicken Sekuwa (RMB68) – the same flavor profile made with cubes of tender chicken breast, both served with two different heat-levels of chili sauce. 

DSC03709.jpgChicken Lollipop (RMB58), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

With the Mount Everest 8848 Momo (RMB48), you’ve got options. First, chicken or pork – with differing pleated folds to distinguish the fillings. 

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Next, steamed and served with an addictingly creamy peanut butter sauce and chili jam; or pan-fried and smothered in a sweet and sour chili sauce, a flavor profile similar to Chinese gulaorou, or sweet and sour pork. 

The former also comes with a rich chicken broth for drinking alongside your steamed dumplings, while the latter comes mixed with assorted sweet bell peppers. 

The momo skins are handmade daily, as they’re thicker than their Shanghainese wonton skin counterparts found at your local wet market. 

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Other noteworthy bites include the Chicken Curry (RMB88) – a rich Nepalese curry gravy served with a fall-off-the-bone chicken drumstick and handmade griddle-roasted roti...

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

... the chewy Pork Keema Noodles (RMB68), sprinkled with spicy minced pork, seasonal veggies and piquant laoganma chili sauce...

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... and the Chicken Biryani (RMB138) – cinnamon and anise-forward basmati rice studded with roasted cashews and hefty chunks of chicken, all baked below scorched Nepalese bread.  

The menu will see another 4-8 dishes added in the next few weeks, and will rotate seasonally.

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The cocktail program, curated by Eric Almazov (Botanical Basket), showcases the flavors of Yunnan and Tibet, with all drinks named after the highest mountains in the Himalayan region: Annapurnaa (RMB78), Kanchenjunga (RMB78) and – the most famous of all – Mount Everest 8848 (RMB78), a delectably sour libation of corn wine, passion fruit, lime and orange juice. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Himalayan answer to Italy’s summer spritzes, the Yeti Spritz (RMB68) is lightly effervescent, subtly sweet and sneakily boozy, with a rice wine and lychee liqueur base topped with prosecco. Every refreshing sip screams “drink me on a sunny patio,” even more so than an Aperol Spritz.

(Italian readers, please don’t kill me for saying that.)

There’s also Shangri-La Brewery beers, a solid wine list, bubbles and soon to come Nepalese-imported shisha. 

The Vibe 

The dimly lit space is outfitted in a Tibetan prayer wheels, Nepalese teapots and a neon blue backlit logo sign stacked with alcohol bottles. 

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The lounge atmosphere gives way to Afro beats after 10pm, around the same time you realize the teapots are actually used for pouring rice wine shots. Get ready to tear it up Everest Base Camp style, sans the altitude sickness. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Lunch kicked off last week, with sets to come in the upcoming weeks. And then, by patio weather, brunch. 

Price: RMB200-250
Who’s Going: The Nepalese contingency; momo fans; shisha indulgers; locals and expats interested in exploring Himalayan dishes
Good For: Himalayan food sampling; running into the F&B crew; spritz sippin’

Yak & Yeti, 97 Xiangyang Lu, by Changle Lu 襄阳路97号, 近长乐路.

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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