Malaya Tibetan Restaurant
One of the few well-known Tibetan Restaurants is Malaya Tibetan Restaurant. This eating option is a good location for travelers that want to experience Tibetan cuisine in a Tibetan atmosphere. This restaurant is conveniently located close to the town square in Kangding. However, looking for a sign pointing to its existence will prove more difficult. Instead, look for Dicos, the only fast-food option in Kangding. These restaurants are located in the same building, but whereas Dicos is on the 2nd floor, Malaya is located on the 6th floor. Enter near Dicos and take the elevator to the 6th floor. Upon arrival you will be greeted by ornately designed doors, Tibetan style decor and lovely waitresses wearing traditional Tibetan dresses that will lead you to one of the many comfortable booths, or one of the large dining tables, if you are a larger group. Malaya is easily accommodating to guests. Seating is at tables in the main room or you can request a private room.
This establishment is surprisingly high-tech. The waitresses are each equipped with electronic devices that automatically place orders to the kitchen. It is for this reason I believe that the service is better than the majority of other eating establishments. Although my company, who spoke both Chinese and Tibetan, ordered for us, I am confident that our waitress could have understood English had I needed to do the ordering. Additionally, the menu contains pictures and English translations making it easy for any foreigner to order.
The menu options are not exhaustive, however, it does allow for variety, some of which can be considered exotic. If you are into exotic foods, you may consider the raw Yak Meat or the Yak Tongue dishes. Other options include: vegetable momos, boiled yak meat, yak meat covered by a blanket, stir-fried celery or other veggies, or a raw vegetable platter. The vegetable momos were filled with cabbage and tasted absolutely delicious. It was so worth the 25 yuan. We also had a boiled yak meat dish and another dish also containing yak meat with fried veggies covered by a “blanket” of cut up little pita-like bread. It was noted that the boiled yak meat dish contained its original taste without the usual spices. Although I was tempted to go for the raw veggie platter, the price is not worth it for the quantity. No rice is provided, but that is not usually served with Tibetan food. However, tea is provided and lots of it. There are alcohol options available if you should desire.
Boiled yak meat (68 Yuan)
We wished that our dishes had contained more food considering their price. Nevertheless, I would recommend going with friends to order more dishes and share the costs. Overall, Malaya Tibetan Restaurant was a good taste of a Tibetan feast.
In 2016 Lavinia Tanasa came and volunteered with us during the summer. She helped us with teaching our staff English, writing blog posts and editing an English training manual.