From fluffy tingmo to hearty thukpa, Himalayan cuisine features several comfort foods. If you’re in Bengaluru, you could sample their complex flavours at these authentic Tibetan restaurants.
Tibetan food is a reflection of the region’s wintry climes. Since produce is hard to cultivate and livestock is easily available, a typical platter features barley, dairy, and meat. Hardy vegetables like mustard, cabbage, turnips, and carrots might turn up in your meal. The cuisine champions noodles, stews, dumplings, cheese, and butter and is simple and warm. The flavours, meanwhile, mirror that of cuisines from the neighbouring regions of Bhutan, Ladakh, Sikkim, and Nepal, especially with the addition of spices like turmeric, black pepper, cumin, and more.
Tibetans, known for upholding “family-style” eating habits, also believe in generous portion sizes. Popular dishes include tingmo, thukpa, momos, and butter tea, which are the perfect accompaniment to chilly days. And considering how Bengaluru has breezy, often rainy weather throughout the year, most locals have a Tibetan restaurant they enjoy heading to for a comforting bite. We round up a few that you should hit up if you’re in the city.
Sample authentic Tibetan food at these restaurants in Bengaluru
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This hidden gem offers Himalayan delicacies, particularly those from Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet. The ingredients used are seasonal and local, and the decor is authentic – marked by wooden doors and traditional decor. The momos and soups here come highly recommended, as does the Tibetan set meal with potatoes and greens. The Tibetan noodle salad, soup, and yak butter tea are a must-try as well.
Image: Courtesy Utse Kitchen
A humble spot in the centre of Bengaluru, Taste of Tibet is housed within a shopping centre and is hard to spot. Once you’re there however, you can rest assured of being served some of the most authentic fare in the city. Popular from the menu are the chicken shaptra, tingmo, chicken momo, chowmein, and thianthuk. The shabalay and mokthuk are worth sampling as well.
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This popular spot in the city has been around since 2008 and is run by Tibetans. Naturally, the food is authentic and delicious. The pork noodles, pork momos, and tingmo are quite popular here. Other delicacies worth sampling include the laphing, phingsha, and thenthuk. The thukpa here comes in egg, chicken, vegetable, and pork variants. Ask for the house special thukpa if you’re in the mood to be pleasantly surprised.
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Pocket-friendly, authentic, and a local favourite, this spot in the city is known for laphing and thukpa. Other popular features off their menu include beef and chicken momos, beef strips, and tingmo. You could also pick from the regular, dry, and keema thukpa options. The place is quaint and gets quite crowded, especially on the weekends so be sure to head there early and in small groups. The hosts are known to customise meals, so don’t hesitate to make requests and ask for the spice levels to be adjusted.
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A hole-in-the-wall sort of an establishment, Tenzin Kitchen is known for its affordable, homely Tibetan fare. The menu’s most recommended dishes include tingmo, beef keema thukpa, chicken thenthuk, thenthuk fry, beef shabaley, potato phing sha, and mokthuk. If you enjoy spicy food, try the shaptak and laphing, either with beef, chicken, vegetables, or pork. Delicious!
Image: Courtesy Tenzin Kitchen
This is another popular spot amongst locals that spotlights Himalayan cuisine and has a few other pan-Asian delicacies strewn about its menu. Their Tibetan specialties include steamed, fried, and chilli fried momo. You could also sample the thenthuk, keema thukpa dry, thenthuk fry, shabaley, tingmo, laphing, gyurma, chicken and beef shapta, and mokthuk. The establishment is a hole-in-the-wall in the centre of the city and is easy to miss so be sure to have the address down or call the restaurant.
Image: Courtesy Yak Kitchen
The go-to spot for most rainy days, the menu here offers delicacies that stay true to the culinary culture of Tibet. Their sha phaley is a delicious bread stuffed with beef and cabbage and the tingmo is fluffy and light. Also recommended are thenthuk, shab ta, gyurma, xogoi momo, and laphing. All of these come with the option of pork, beef, chicken, and vegetables.
Image: Courtesy Lhen-zom Tibetan Restaurant
Run by a Tibetan family, this restaurant is as authentic as it gets. A quaint space, like others on this list, the menu here offers momos, thukpa, lapsha, mokthuk, thenthuk, shabaley, shapta chicken, and tingmo with choice of meat and vegetables for most. They also offer a combo of tingmo with soup, momos, and noodles. Head here early in small numbers to avoid having to wait too long for a meal.
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