09 February 2011
An amalgamation of mismatched artifacts
Visitors to the Anandapur district of Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom who are looking for good food and perhaps a place to rest for the night need look no further than the establishment known as Yak & Yeti. Although, even as it seems rooms are available for the evening, chances are it will be easier to get a table in the restaurant than a bed to rest your weary head. Still, the atmosphere is amiable.According to the story, a merchant named Arjun began to run into a string of bad luck and had to get creative. His family, and other families that moved in, had to create more room in their already cramped living arrangement, as Arjun began renting rooms to wealthy travelers looking for boutique accommodations. In addition to the hotel business, a full restaurant sprung up in the residence as well. Interspersed between the beds and table assemblies, are a collection artifacts that Arjun has yet to be able to sell. Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed while meandering through the home, Arjun’s family are also very fond of birds.It would seem that this story would be overwhelming and distract from a meal at Yak & Yeti, but the elements that tell the tale are surprisingly well place and understated. While the tables may seem a bit cramped, there is ample room with which to navigate through the establishment. The décor only further solidifies the story and destination, and assists in creating a cohesive environment when integrated with the fare.On the menu side of Yak & Yeti, the offerings fit the typical Pan-Asian cuisine that can be easily found in any midsized city. Wishing to give the menu a healthy once through, the group I dined with partook of the Pork Egg Rolls and Wok Fried Green Beans as appetizers, Tempura Shrimp, Kobe Beef Burger and Duck with Anandapur Glaze as our entrees and Fried Wantons for dessert.The Pork Egg Rolls, Tempura Shrimp and Fried Wantons gave the group a case of the mehs. That isn’t to say they weren’t tasty, but they did nothing to elevate themselves. Our serving of Wok Fried Green Beans may not be entirely unique, but well prepared with a crisp bite we were not expecting. The Duck with Anandapur Glaze was, in all of our opinions, perhaps some of the best duck we have ever had anywhere. If you like duck, you will love this dish.The only word of caution from the meal comes from the Kobe Beef Burger. Our server made it clear that the burger comes very medium, and I was encouraged that the staff are this knowledgeable of the entrées they are serving. However, upon arrival and consumption it was very clear that the standard of medium was lacking at Yak & Yeti. My wife, who tends to order medium-rare, took enough bites to get an idea of the burger, but found it inedible.My overall impression of Yak & Yeti leaves me still on the fence. The decoration and design spur me on to explore more corners of this domicile, which is great considering I felt cramped at my table and jostled by Guests behind me who were also feeling the pinch. The menu offerings themselves are not as unique as I had hoped, but they aren’t horrible either, assigning Yak & Yeti to the status of a viable substitute if Tusker House is unavailable. For a restaurant with so much promise, I would simply like to see more Yak & Yeti.