While it’s easy to find a restaurant where you can have authentic Tibetan food, it is hard to find a restaurant in Hong Yuan town, in the Amdo Tibetan Region, where you can experience the local Tibetan style. However, at the Black Tent Restaurant, guests experience both. Run by a young local Tibetan nomad Gasang Gun who only has primary school education, the restaurant stands as a testament to his hard work and dedication to his culture. The restaurant was found in 2007, and it was one of the earliest Tibetan restaurants in the town. As yak meat, butter, cheese, milk, and yogurt are some of the main foods for nomads, Gasang Gun decided to bring a little nomad life to the town.
There are a few restaurants in the town, but on observation Black Tent Restaurant is the most popular among the local people. While many tourists visit Hong Yuan, most are not lucky enough to know about the place. Instead, most of Black Tent’s customers are local nomads who know what the real authentic food tastes like. If you visit the restaurant, it’s not uncommon to see entire Tibetan families – from the grandparents to the toddlers – stopping by for a meal.
Hong Yuan is known for their yak dairy products, so if you are looking for Tibetan yak meat and yogurt, Black Tent restaurant is one of the best places! While here, we tried their momos, rice with yak meat, yogurt, and yak milk tea, and Gasang Gun’s cooking does not disappoint!
Gasang Gun was able to expand his restaurant in the past few years with his hard work, and passion for food and culture. He opened two more restaurants in both Hong Yuan town and Aba town, and currently employs 13 Tibetan staff between his 3 restaurants. He is the main chef and manager for the Black Tent Restaurant in Hong Yuan, with his other chefs being trained by him. Gasang Gun said that it usually takes a few months to train each of his chefs properly, but he is very happy to take the time to do it for the quality of the food, and the education of his staff. In the future, Gasang Gun wants to open more restaurants in some of the other Tibetan towns to let more people experience the flavors of nomad food.
Address: East Road of Jiangxi, Honyuan County town.