Time for another instalment of…
I am on a mission to eat an authentic dish from every country in the world, right here in Toronto. You can find all past recaps here.
Today we’re talking about Tibet.
Now yes, technically Tibet is a region of China and not a country, but it is home to the Tibetan people and it does have its own cuisine so, that counts. And any excuse I have to eat any sort of Chinese food I will take. It’s one country that I will definitely be breaking up into regions.
Last week I met up with my blogger friends Casey, Michelle and Shanondoah at Shangrila Tibetan and Asian Cuisine on Queen West (like way west, like Parkdale area) and we ate Tibet. I made reservations online but the restaurant was totally empty when we arrived so apparently that wasn’t necessary.
I enjoyed the floor seating.
Traffic was absolutely nuts for me so I was a bit late. The girls ordered some appys while they waited for me, the crispy cauliflower was definitely the standout.
Po cha, Tibetan butter tea, was up first for me.
I had done some research beforehand so I knew that this was not your regular tea, it is made by churning tea, salt and yak butter. I can’t say for sure if they used yak butter but it was definitely buttery and salty, and though my brain knew what to expect my tastebuds were pretty surprised. Salty tea tastes as weird as it sounds. Probably an acquired tasted. I could not finish it but I felt like I needed to try it.
We ordered a round of tingmo, Tibetan steamed bread.
Pretty great, but ya can’t go wrong with bread.
Next up in Tibetan dishes we ordered the beef momo.
Most countries tend to have their own dumplings, and this is Tibet’s. Momo is also popular in Nepal and other neighbouring countries, but it’s thought to have originated in Tibet. The dough is made with flour and water and filled with various meat. Yak is a popular filling in Tibet but it wasn’t on the menu here (which I was thankful for because I would have felt obligated to try it but I think I prefer beef). They were delicious, but I love a good dumpling so I may be biased.
I did feel obligated to try the thenthuk.
Similar to a pho, thenthuk has thin pieces of pasta simmered into a broth with various meats, mutton and yak being the common ones in Tibet. Apparently it’s very common in Tibetan cuisine, especially in Amdo. I got the chicken and it was delicious, but soup is weird to share and we had so much other food that I ended up bringing most of it home.
Since we were at an Asian restaurant we branched out from just Tibetan food and into the fried rice and chicken manchurian territory.
I didn’t love the chicken manchurian, I gotta say. It was okay but I felt like the sauce was missing something. It tasted kinda bland and needed some sort of spice. The fried rice was good though, and we also ordered the crispy beef which was great.
And the Shangri-La noodle with chicken.
Both good but not specifically Tibetan.
This is definitely not Tibetan but for dessert we ordered the deep fried banana with ice cream to share.
One of the best deep fried bananas I have had!
And that’s Tibet!