BHATU KHAN - AUTHENTIC MONGOLIAN CUISINE
BHATU KHAN is the brainchild of a former American missionary, James “Jack” Sommers. During his travels, he spent some time in Tibet, Mongolia and Xinjian (Western China) where his journey of self-discovery also flourished. Here he met some of the hardiest people who could work all day while surviving on just a single meal. Their meal could be composed of almost anything as food was scarce in those parts and the natives learned to live off what was available – sometimes mostly meat, other times only vegetable and occasionally fish.
One of his surprising discoveries while on this trip was his knack for extending the value of his meager resources. Here he also learned to barter, give English lessons, and even sing for these very hospitable people who would not hesitate to invite him into their homes to share what little food they had.
Back in Portland, he met and married Annie, an Asian American and they decided to set up base in Oregon by putting up a small restaurant whose concept did not require a lot of manpower nor capital. Obviously the specialty was Mongolian Barbecue, Mongolian Hotpot and Mongolian Sandwich.
Jack says that according to Mongol legend, Mongolian Barbecue was enjoyed by the soldiers of the great Khans who would kill any animal in their way. They would later mix the kill with whatever vegetables and spices they could get on top of their shields and barbecue the whole over an open flame. He also added that for variety the Mongolian Hotpot was later created by the soldiers. They would make this variation by combining the meat with vegetables, water and yogurt inside their helmets and then boiling the mixture over the same open flame. Baotse or Mongolian Sandwich was the logical offshoot as the soldiers eventually learned to put their food inside bread to create the first ready-to-go meal to eat in between conquests.
Annie who was also working part-time for the Concepcion’s hotel equipment supplier in Oregon invited James to Bhatu Khan during one of his official visits there with his late father Rene. This was the perfect place for the father and son team as James was then on the Atkin’s diet and his late father himself preferred a lot of vegetables. You can imagine the eat-all-you -can establishment was kept busy by the duo.
Each time James is in Oregon, the Bhatu Khan Restaurant of the Sommers would always be part of his official itinerary. What makes this establishment stand out from others is that it boasts of a gigantic selection of 150 ingredients that one can mix in a soup, sandwich or barbecue. Jack says “that if you were to have only one meal in a day then Bhatu Khan is where you should have it”
James could not disagree as he enjoyed his gustatory visits so much he referred Bhatu Khan to a restaurateur friend in Winnipeg.
And now, James is introducing Days Hotel guests to Bhatu Khan’s distinctive Mongolian buffet for a limited period.