>> Khampa Kitchen Inn | Eat the World NYC

29 October 2019

Khampa Kitchen Inn

TIBET 🏴󠁣󠁮󠀵󠀴󠁿

Besides some words on an area message board, Khampa Kitchen has lived most of its year of life relatively quietly. The dining room offers the same thing, separated from noisy Roosevelt Avenue and the 7 train above by a small room that acts as a vestibule. Half of this space is dedicated to jewelry and other handicrafts in a room that can be unlocked by the proprietor if you wish to see more.

But head on towards the smells coming from the kitchen, named for the people and region that spanned Eastern Tibet and Western Sichuan but today is just grouped in with the rest of Tibet. This was not always the case, as they speak a different language and have different customs than the Tibetans from Lhasa.

As if to just make sure customers coming in for generalized Tibetan food, whatever that is, will not be disappointed, the menu is full of decently executed dishes like chicken momos ($6.99, above), These have a thicker than normal wrapping, are full of the usual spices, and certainly enjoyable.

But we are in Khampa Kitchen Inn, after all, so it is worth getting familiar with the people and some of their unique contributions. Any scholar of the 1959 Tibetan uprising will know the region of Kham and its people had a very different role to play in the events leading up to it, differences that today might be erased by usage of "Tibetan" for an entire region and people.

One easy way to see this through cuisine is with the paoze ($11.99, above), similar in shape to the momo but made with a wrapper closer in flavor and texture to tingmo (called trinmo here). These are traditionally served with a flavorless bowl of rice soup. Khampa horsemen would traditionally eat these with yak meat, but here in Queens they are available in vegetable, pork, chicken, or beef versions.

Also highly recommended by the Khampa server was fried beef ribs ($10.99, below), heavily fatty chunks of bone-on meat flavored with oils and dried chili peppers. While it takes a while to eat, this dish is full of distinct flavors and worth the effort.

Another stand out Khampa dish is the beef with green pepper ($9.99, above), which is also served with a fresh and hot piece of trinmo. This is another Himalayan dish that uses chili peppers as the vegetable rather than chopped up for spice, so be prepared for a little sweat to start on your brow.

A good pairing for all the spice about to be in your life is a nice bowl of bhoethuk, a thick noodle soup here called Lhasa noodle ($6.99, below). This is only served with beef, a theme of dishes here as it probably remains the closest option to replicate yak, with a subtle beef broth. Throw in a little bit of the chili oil, but keep this as your safe place when your eyes are tearing up with other dishes.

One very unique dish, and an introduction to what may be presented on special occasions, is Khampa poethek ($12.99, above and below), a kind of meat pie that will require about a 30 minute lead time. The beautifully made pastry will arrive with the top already cut, but this would normally happen after everyone was seated.

If you were the guest of honor at someone's house, the top piece would be used as a little plate. The fillings, here seen with beef, would be piled high on the crisp disc and handed to whomever would be the person to impress.

Presented to the guest of honor.

With excellent hospitality and obvious pride in their cuisine, it is not too much of a stretch to imagine your group as the guests of honor after a feast here at Khampa Kitchen Inn.

Khampa Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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