680 Broughton Street
E: Tibetan or Mongolian, those are two worlds I’d love to explore for the many mysteries that lurk upon the land. In this case of wondering if they’re open on an early Saturday evening, the secret is that they are! quite often, James and I would walk by to find them closed. And I’ve always wanted to dine there because of the lavish desserts they offer.
J: Frankly I can’t see myself donning robes, shaving my head and sitting on a mountain top looking for eternal peace. Give me the vices of city life. Give me the wine, the women and the international cheeses. But perhaps peace of some sort can be found within the walls of the Tibetan Kitchen. They’ve been profiled on Food Network Canada but does that really matter to me? Many of the television programs today are just glorified infomercials. Ed and I were lucky to get a table, most of the tables were reserved. It didn’t occur to us that a cozy place like Tibetan Kitchen would be booked solid.
E: With James’ bald spot, I’m sure he would fit in, but a friar he is not. There was a short time where I could have sworn the city of Victoria had a Mongolian Kitchen but maybe I’m wrong. Can you imagine me going Kahn against a lamb or calf? Well, I’m not 100% knowledgeable about the ethnic food of this region, but exploration is in the name of the game. My eyes gravitated towards the traditional foods of this country and that included a Sha Phaley (bread with meat stuffed inside it) baked to a nice crusty and chewy delight.
J: I was having a really good night and to send me from happy state to bliss, I chose the tiger prawn shepta ($16). My meal was seasoned with ginger and garlic. Its ingredients were stir-fried beef, mushrooms and bell peppers served on a bed of white rice (brown rice was an option).
The decision of the level of spiciness was mine to make. I wanted to go all out and tackle the hottest level I could. I’ve been training for this. But I decided today wasn’t the day. If something went wrong and my stomach couldn’t handle it, imagine the complications out in public and nowhere to run. Ed is my friend but even he would disavow any knowledge of me at that point.
E: Fortunately beans are not the staple of a Tibetan diet, otherwise I would not be near James when we returned to the city streets. But when we had differing tastes that night, my choice to go medium with the heat could certainly be tasted in the huge pot sticker I had. The combination of beef and carrot was great, and the textures were just right when contrasted with the sweet apple sauce offered as a side. I had a small serving of balsamic rice which I couldn’t quite finish. If I had more room, I would have polished off the tempura-like dishes offered. I never had kale deep-fried, and I can easily go for more. Sadly, that left no room for dessert.
J: I was already wishing i had bought that lassi ($7). The mild spiciness didn’t feel mild. My body was desperately attempting to cool itself. I managed to calm the fire but it took water, a lot of water just to keep me from sweating myself to nothingness. If this is mild, Tibetans are a tough people. Next time I’m bringing more tissues for my nose. With that aside, the meal was very good. the ingredients tasted fresh and although it looked like $16 doesn’t buy much, by the end I was full. Me, the man who could eat 2 ½ plates of food at a buffet. My only problem was the prawn tails being served unpeeled. I can understand that for some people you can eat the prawn shell and I do) but these were causing me great difficulty.
E: And in Tibet, I’m sure what James would bemoan is not ohm.
4 blokes out of 5