Ladakh Journals

Ladakh: Such Great Heights

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A June 2006 trip to Ladakh by graphite sea

Baralacha La Lake Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India More Photos
Quote: Prepare to never want to leave this place.
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Since spreading into Ladakh from Tibet back in the very olden days, the momo (or mok mok in Ladakhi, but it’s more commonly referred to by its Tibetan name, momo) has evolved into an icon of Ladakhi cuisine. As such, it’s a dish that must be sampled when you’re there. In fact, momo ubiquity renders a sampling nearly inevitable. The traditional momo stuffing in Ladakh is either vegetables or mutton, but restaurants catering to tourists branch out from the standard, adding such ingredients as yak cheese to the mix. Regardless of what’s inside, your plate of momos will be accompanied by a bowl of broth, and is best topped off with a discretionary dollop of chili powder/paste. My significant (and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 11, 2007

Summer Harvest Restaurant

Restaurant | "Countdown to Mmmmomo: 2... (Summer Harvest)"

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2. This is another higher end restaurant (for Ladakh, that is; momos here start at around Rs40), which doesn’t make much of a case for the more modest, small-scale eateries. I was therefore reluctant to crown such a slick restaurant the premiere home of vegetable momos in Ladakh, but for a long time, that’s where it stood. What makes them so good? For starters, they use premium vegetables, as opposed to all cabbage all the time. And while some restaurants merely infuse their dough with a sprinkling of vegetables or meat, Summer Harvest serves up a plate of ten plump bundles that will sufficiently last you through the night. Of course, the flavor is also just right, but I couldn’t tell you what spices ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 11, 2007

Summer Harvest Restaurant
Fort Road
Ladakh, India

best momos ever Photo, Ladakh, India
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1. (Location is the last stall on the right in Phanjila, in the direction of Hanupatta.) If you make it out to Zanskar for the Lamayuru to Padum or Darcha trek, before you zip through Phanjila to head into the gorges, stop by this stall for the momos that dethroned Summer Harvest. These champion momos burst with leafy greens and the occasional tomato piece, and, as if that weren’t enough, the shell is whole wheat (there was none of that in Leh). All this for Rs20. I even ordered an extra batch to take with me on my trek, polishing most of them off for dinner that night, much to my dismay (it was canned cheese and crackers from then on). Later on, I did end up passing through Phanjila again and looked ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 11, 2007

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An honorable mention goes to Norlakh (upstairs on Main Bazaar Road opposite the State Bank of India ATM), where you might even spot a local. I think they make five different fillings. A second honorable mention goes to a barely there Tibetan restaurant, so barely there that I don’t even know its name, on Fort Road across from Tibetan Kitchen, two or three shops downhill from Penguin. This place is run by a husband and wife team, each of whom has an individual momo style. One was more aligned to my tastes, although I never worked out whose was which. Every time I went, I hoped that I’d get the preferred momo prep cook, but I usually got the other one. In my experience, the momos at thes...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 11, 2007

Get Carried Away (And How!)

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Baralacha La Lake Photo, Himachal Pradesh, India
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With nearly 40,000 miles of track, Indian Railways pulls off a messy game of connect-the-population dots across most of the subcontinent. Most of it…just not Ladakh. Rail travel to this region is precluded by the terrain, which toughens up as it ascends from the greener pastures of the plains through toothy mountains to Leh at 3505m/11,500ft. Getting to Ladakh instead involves a ride with one of India’s transportation industry underdogs: plane, jeep, bus or your very own feet. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll be twisted through a seemingly impossible landscape rife with the loftiest peaks and deepest valleys. While this journey is almost as good as the destination, digging for information isn’t,...Read More