Tibetan diet guide Guide
A trip to Lhasa takes the tourist to one of the 10 highest cities in the world. Because of its height, Lhasa’s climate remains relatively cool throughout the year, making the cultivation of crops difficult. Lhasa’s gastronomy reflects its climate as well as typical Tibetan cuisine.
A visitor to Lhasa will find that the traditional foods are rich in calories and often served very warm to combat the chilly atmosphere. However, visitors can also find foods that remind them of home. Along with traditional Tibetan foods, there are restaurants that serve Nepalese, Chinese, Indian, Sichuan, and even western foods on occasion.
Sampling the Local Cuisine
Typical Tibetan cuisine consists of a great deal of barley and rich meats. Specialty dishes are served in Tibet that reflect the area’s history, geographical formations, and nutritional needs of the locals. Tourists in Lhasa are encouraged to sample these dishes, many of which can seldom be found elsewhere. The majority of cuisine in Lhasa consists of yak, mutton, and goat meats with little to no vegetables.
Gyurma is a type of blood sausage made with yak or sheep’s blood.
Thukpa is a noodle soup, usually served with mutton or yak meat.
Tingmo is a type of steamed bun or bread. It is usually served along other foods but is sometimes stuffed with meat or cheese.
A soup made with cheeses, tsampa, and either yak or sheep stock.
Tsampa is known as the national food of Tibet. It is usually made of ground barley flour and often mixed with butter or yak butter tea.
There are also a number of traditional beverages enjoyed by the people of Tibet. These include:
Yak Butter Tea: Locally known as Po Cha, yak butter tea is made from yak butter, tea leaves, and salt. It is served hot.
Chang: A type of beer made from barley. It is served either at room temperature or very hot.
Pinjopo: Wine made from rice.
Restaurants in Lhasa
Lhasa has a number of restaurants and as tourism continues to increase, so do the scope of eateries. Many of the newer restaurants in Lhasa cater to tourists, offering local cuisine as well as Sichuan, Chinese, Indian, and Western dishes.
1. Phin Tsok Ge Don Restaurant Branch
The restaurant is not very large, but inside is an altogether different world.
The Tibetan-style fitments are pretty distinctive, and you may find the servers to be like fairy maidens. The dishes made from beef or mutton are very exquisite and the portions are sufficient.
Despite the delicacy of the beef and mutton, they may not agree with some people. Sweet tea and barley wine are especially recommended. It’s most suitable for entertaining guests.
• Chinese: 藏家宴（团结新村店）
• Address: at the Western Gate, 1 Tuanjie Xin Cun Road, Chengguan District 城关区团结新村路1号东门
• Tel: 0891-6362228, 0891-6320033
• Recommended dishes: steamed potato-stuffed bun (土豆包子), buttered tea (酥油茶), decocted mutton chop (羊排), steamed ox tongue (牛舌), fried sheep lung (炸羊排), and ginseng fruit cooked with butter (油酥人参果)
• Average price per person: 68 yuan
• Address: at the Northern Gate of the Eastern Area, 75 Tuanjie Xin Cun Road, Chengguan District 城关区团结新村路75号东区北门
2. Snow God Palace
Located at the foot of the Potala Palace, the Tibetan-style restaurant enjoys an enviable geographic position. You can happily enjoy the taste of buttery tea there. Besides, many dishes are pretty delicious; the food portions are sufficient and the price is affordable. However, some dishes may be a bit oily.
• Chinese name: 雪神宫藏式餐厅 Xveshen’gong Zangshi Canting
• Recommended dishes: roast yak beef (烤牦牛肉), yogurt (酸奶), steamed potato-stuffed bun (土豆包子), and rice cooked with ginseng fruit (人参果炒饭)
• Average price per person: 71 yuan
• Address: West side of the Potala Palace Square, Kangang East Road 康昂东路布达拉宫广场西侧
• Tel: 0891-6825866
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