May 15, 2019 -- Visiting KFC has become popular among locals in Lhasa. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]
The Burger King restaurant near Jokhang Temple is also highly popular among tourists and locals, especial young Tibetans. The chain also operates in Xigaze.
Sikar, 24, a hotel receptionist in Lhasa, said: "I still prefer to start my day sipping Tibetan sweet milk tea and eating yak soup noodles at local teahouses, but I enjoy having burgers and fries for lunch. The fact is that Tibetans feel more relaxed gossiping in crowded teahouses than in fast-food restaurants. The vibe is completely different.
"As traveling to Tibet has become much easier, we've seen different types of restaurant appearing in the region to satisfy different taste buds. I believe having more choice is a step forward."
Dorje Nyima opened Xishidong - one of the first Japanese restaurants in Lhasa - last month. "Our main customers are young workers from nearby office blocks as well as tourists, including many from Japan. Older Tibetans rarely dine here," he said.
Due to tradition and lack of availability, many Tibetans used not to eat fish, but this is changing.
Dorje Nyima, who has taken cookery lessons in Japan, said: "Young Tibetans love the fish dishes served at the restaurant. It's still not easy to get hold of fresh fish in Lhasa, so we are unable to serve sashimi, but cooked fish is on the menu. For locals who don't eat fish, we have invented yak meat sushi, which has been very popular."