A Monk, a Yeti and contours of pastures - a thought that transcends our minds into the hearty, fresh, yet flavourful Himalayan way of life, where one can't escape the absolute essence of Tibetan, Burmese and Vietnamese cuisine for the holistic and soulful palette it creates.
Not far-far away but a few klicks from Pune University is nestled a quaint little eatery, @yetiandthemonk who specialize in wrapping up flavors of the mountains.
Run by 3 friends who have travelled around the world and then followed their heart to pursue their passion. Solid, simple and grounded running the place amongst themselves... cooking, cleaning, serving.. they got it covered.
And the food is to die for (oh & best #vietnamesecoffee in India) with a steady, loyal customer base who swear by them and we have been gorging on for last two years (discovered by our in house foodie @theearthycoffeebean)
What intrigued us is that they have been using our Bamboo Baskets inherited from the previous owners who were running a cafe for many years in the same place!
They use them for serving Pho, Bao and the likes and we had to know their experience!
They also very sportingly agreed to do a special Summer Salad recipe for us that you can easily toss up at home and enjoy #SummerPlans #NoSweat
The simplicity of life, dreams of the world, following one's heart and living in grace along the path we choose... one day at a time... one plate at a time ♥️
Read this sweet little conversation with the Chefs!
So when did it all start? How did "Yeti and the Monk" happen?
Saurabh: "We met each other back in 2014, we were first working in the US, we were together at Hyatt and after a year we parted ways only to find ourselves coming back to India to start something of our own interests.
We ran a Cloud Kitchen in Mumbai for about two years and had our share of ups and downs, when our friend from Pune who is a chef on a Cruise line suggested that we start a place here. The three of us poured all our experience from "over the years and started "Yeti and the Monk" in mid 2019.
Why the name "Yeti and The Monk"?
Saurabh: Before us, there used to be a Vietnamese restaurant and as we were brainstorming we wanted to continue the essence of the previous cuisine.
Our goal was to bring to our customers the taste of Tibetan, Bhutanese and Southeast Asian foods and we wanted a name that would combine it all perfectly together.
Yeti is a symbolic myth from the icy mountains while the monk is a very common existence among Asian countries and that's how the name "Yeti and The Monk" happened.
We couldn't help but notice the bamboo baskets that you use to serve your customers. We'd like to know more about this.
Bikki: The baskets were passed on by the previous owner. She used to place the bowls in these baskets when serving customers.
In the Northeast of India, Bamboo is an essential part of day to day life. Starting from eating bamboo shoot to using handcrafted products in day to day activities, bamboo is used by everyone everyday.
I'm very close with the whole bamboo thing. We carve a lot back home in Darjeeling and I usually do it myself! I carve bamboo spoons, mugs and cups so yeah bamboo has always been a huge part of our kitchen.
The bamboo matched with the theme here and its only natural for me to have used it here in the kitchen... we use it a lot!
How is your experience using these baskets here?
Saurabh: We use them a lot! They don't slip and are easy to hold when the food is hot. It's also easy to share across the table while eating. We also serve our special Bao in these baskets and they look pretty cool.
It's easy to maintain these as well. We wash them once a week and leave it overnight to dry. That's all.
It's been a tough year with the pandemic. How have you guys managed? How has the customer response been?
Saurabh: It was pretty rough last year. We were stuck in three different locations entirely apart one of us on a cruise ship at the coast of Brazil, one at his hometown in Darjeeling and one in Mumbai.
We reopened in August following rules of service by sticking to deliveries and as soon as we were permitted, we resumed welcoming customers around the time of Diwali. We are doing many deliveries and takeaways now.
The experience of enjoying this food here and at home is not the same. Many people are styling and experimenting making different cuisines to enjoy such experiences at home.
We are very excited about the special summer salad you are making for #DaisyLifeFam to enjoy a Home-Cafe style experience. What's in the salad?
Bikki: The flavours are inspired by the Indian palette (read "chunda") The ingredients are very simple and are easily available in the local markets. The salad is easy to make and is perfect for the summer season!
When you walk in, be ready to be greeted with a cheerful smile and to enjoy food bursting with flavours made with love and joy. A holistic experience of a simple life, you can sink into the chairs, enjoy the Tibetan chanting playing in the background, chat with the guys and dig into your bowls of yumminess.
Till you can't make it there, give them a call to order in and create your own beautiful mountain experience at home!
Make your own Home-Cafe Style Summer Salad by Chef Bikki