i had lunch in arro khampa in march 2010 and i was really surprised!!! the service was outstanding and the food was delicious. warm and cosy with an open fire and a real tibetan decoration!! i can highly recommend the yak-steak. in fact it was the first real steak i had in china .
Favorite Dish: yak steak, chicken curry, the tibetan escalope (like the wiener schnitzel)
Honestly, if you haven't tasted yak butter tea, you haven't been to Shangri-la. The combination of fat and salt and caffeine is not as bad as it sounds*, particularly if you're suffering from altitude sickness. The tea taste particularly gamey ( due to all that yak milk) and salty with just a hint of pu-er.
* Listed as one of the worst Tibetan experience in Lonely Planet.
How: Brew some Pu-er tea and churn it together with the already churned yak milk. Churn it some more till it's mixed and add salt for taste.
I had dinner in the Soyala Tibetan diner and it was awesome!
Delicious yak hamburgers and homebrewed beer are offered. The beef was excellent and the service was really good. The restaurant is run by former kids from the Shangri-La orphanage. Their service is great and their english is much better than in the most other places. I tried the yak hamburger in various styles, the tibetan chili chicken, the bajis, the samosas, the momos and the garlic mushrooms. Everything was remarkeably delicious. The food goes well with the homebrewed Shangri-la beer.
I really have to say the place is one of the best in town!
A+, Thank you! Richard
Favorite Dish: Yak hamburger
Tibetan chili chicken
A typical lunch for me in Yunnan is a warm bowl of rice noodles topped with vegetables (lots of it ) and minced meat. It makes a healthy yet filling dish. A bowl of noodles like this cost no more than 5rmb.
It must have been about 1pm when I reached Shangri-la. I was tired and ravenous from a dangerous bus journey from Lijiang and couldn't wait to feast on the local specialties. We ordered a complete menu of Tibetan specialties, including the noodles, fried yak meat, topped off with a pot of Yak Butter Tea.
The Yak Meat looked particularly appetising since it was lightly fried with the local greens, whole pieces of garlic and seeded chillies. Sadly, it looked better than it tasted. The texture was tough since Yak is the Tibetan equivilent of the free-range chicken. These woolly beasts roamed about freely in town till it's lured to the kitchen for dinner. All that roaming, unfortunately, made the meat rather sinewy.
And there was the smell too. The unmistakable gamey flavour that lurks in every exotic meat. Fortunately, there was enough salt and chillies to mask the smell and we finished everything on the plate.
Verdict: It's a good dish to try if you're in Shangri-la as it's a low-fat source of protein. Take my advice with a pinch and go for it. I found out to my horror that there are actually some folks out there who take my words for the bible truth and deny themselves of an eating experience.
The Gyuma in Shangri-la is bloody addictive. Literally. These are Tibetan blood sausages made from quarts of yak blood, offal, minced beef and rice stuffed into goat intestines. Actually, it is more delicious than it sounds. The sausage is crisp, salty and fatty. Not too different from the Dutch version of Balkenbrij ( liverwurst ) and it goes nicely with an accompaniment of grilled glutinous rice cake.
Where:You can buy sticks of Gyuma in the old town of Shangri-la from any street vendor. Upon your order, she will slice and skewer the sausage, grill it on an open flame and sprinkle hot chilli powder on it.
This is one of the cafe of the old town, what makes this special to me is not just the food, but the really warm welcome that you feel once you enter.
I do not know how to describe it but, may be because we were reallyn tired and cold when we came here, but as soon as we took a seat we felt like in a places we were used to come everyday and actually we had been treated like usual guests.
Favorite Dish: The tibetan mix(rice, yak meat, potato mushrooms) and the tibetan springrolls(sweet and sour springrolls made of yak cheese) were really nice, just chose only one of them as they are huge dishes and you will hardly get to eat both.
Do not expect cold beer as they say: it's cold enough in here you do not need to drink cold drinks.
For 3 people with beers and really too much food that we did not finish we paid about 10 euros.
And as our feast drew to an end, this was all that could be seen..utter chaos! And around the table we unbuttoned our trousers a little, slid down the chair into a more comfortable position, and sighed a long hard sigh of gratification!
We were so cold that night in Zhongdian that we were willing to pass on the expensive Western Food, and go straight for good warm Chinese hotpot! For those who do not know what a hotpot is, its like a stew but you put all ingredients into the boiling soup uncooked. And then the soup cooks them and shortly after, apart from the potatoes as they take AGES to cook, you can take everything out and dip it into your sauce and eat it! Actually, I think I already have a description of this on my BEIJING page, if you are further interested!
We managed to find this place after going into a couple of places asking around for hotpot. One Chinese woman even spoke to us in English saying there was a good Western cafe down the road!!! "NO", we all shouted.."we want CHINESE!!!"
Favorite Dish: I think we were the only customers in the restaurant, but that wasnt really surprising as those stAying in hostels with a warm restaurant, just stay there, but ours didnt have a restaurant let alone a warm one!!! Well our hotel DID have a rest. and cafe but it was never open, and we wanted to explore a little bit anyway!
So anyway, the hot pot was great! More photos of it to come below!!!!
Same as before...just starting our meal..everything looks hopeful!
The one thing they weren't very good with was the sesame sauce you can order to dip your meats and veg from the hotpot into. They gave each of us a bowl and then when we wanted to order some more, they gave us another sort which was mainly just water, no real thick sauce. Its hard to understand if youve never had it before, but you could maybe compare it to tomato sauce when all you get is the liquid water coming out rather than the actual sauce! Ha ha!!! Do you catch my drift now!!!!?
This is the restaurant in the hotel we stayed in ZhongDian. Price is little bit higher than those road side restaurants, but except from the ordinary Yunnan style food, they do have some nice creative dishes.
Favorite Dish: As you can see, we 2 were actually very hungry.. (?!) 5 dishes for 2... (*_*)
anyway.. the dish in front of me, deep fried potato slices with salty egg yolk was really very good! And the fried pork ribs was good too.. my friend, who normally doesn't eat pork, had 2 pieces too~~
You can always find good food at the Pacific Rim Hotel.
It seems that most of the local noodle shops tend to close early. The more touristy resturants stay open later though.
There is good Cantonese at the Pacific Rim.
Favorite Dish: Cantonese