The korean Curry Quest: Yeti
You wouldn’t be surprised to find Aladdin lounging on the floor in this basement restaurant, smoking opium with voluptuous, dark-haired women. OK, maybe you would be surprised. The point is, Yeti has a desert-tent, den-of-thieves vibe. It’s dimly lit and smells of incense; most of the seating is on the floor, atop patchwork cushions and pillows; silky cloth hangs from the ceiling; hookahs are always within arm’s reach, ready for the smoking.
Have a big date coming up? Do not fret about your apartment’s harsh overhead lighting. Return the candle you bought at E-Mart. Put away your pan and spatula. The mood has been set for you already, at Yeti. Far better than you could ever hope to do yourself. It’s the kind of restaurant that puts you immediately at ease. It’s the Indo-trance playing in the background, the brick half-walls that separate different sections of the place, the hanging star lanterns and the brass oil lamps and the fact that you’re lounging on a bed of pillows. Owner Gambhir Man Shreshtha has done a fine job of turning his restaurant into an escape to an older, more exotic East. And the food’s good too.
I ordered a chicken tikka masala, naan and a banana lassi. The lassi came out first, tart, creamy and so thick I could barely suck it through a straw. The naan and curry came out shortly after. The naan here is lighter and has more the consistency of pita bread. The curry was tomato-based, with chunks of chicken and onions. Not too heavy, not too thick, the acid in the curry kept it feeling light, good for lunch. The server said it was spicy, but after the Everest vindaloo, the heat was unnoticeable. They have a lunch set for two that comes with salad, tandoori chicken, curry, naan, rice and a lassi or tea and costs 24,000 won. Curries run 9,000 to 10,000 won.
It’s quiet and private, the perfect atmosphere for getting to know a date. And afterwards, ascend the stairs to bustling Hongdae. Yeti is in the hippest part of the neighborhood, a short walk from clubs and pubs galore.
Getting there: Walk out of Hongik University Station, exit 9. Take your second left and walk until Hongik University is directly across the street. Take a right, and another right shortly after up a small hill. Yeti is in the basement of the building with Smoothie King.
Find them on Facebook: Click here.
It won't hurt to call ahead — (02) 325-0745