Xinjiang Uyghur Restaurant
915 Yan An Zhong Lu (延安中路915号)
14 of us met up for a big Xinjiang/Uyghur feast. You can read all about the cuisine here, it’s a fascinating mix of middle eastern and chinese food. Even more fascinating are the staff there, that have a middle Eastern/Muslim look, but all speak Chinese! They newly relocated restaurant boasts small tables on the ground floor and large tables for groups on the upper level. It’s fun, casual, and loud. An excellent place to meet up with friends and chow down on food.
And boy, did we chow down! I was anticipating eating only a tiny bit (was still full from lunch, and afternoon-tea).. but all the dishes were so interesting that I had one (or three) of everything so ended up eating more than I probably should’ve. The best of all was the rice, which was either cooked in lamb fat and/or butter – rich and creamy, it was a delight on the taste buds.
The only dish that I didn’t like was the lamb, which is actually meant to be their star dish! The lamb carcass is brought out whole on a platter, whilst the waiters chant away (no idea what they were saying). Then they bring it back into the kitchen and hack it to pieces. Really. Instead of carefully cutting out chunks of meat, they just hack the meat and bone and throw it onto the platter. I suppose it’s how they do it in Xinjiang, but for me, I am really scared of weird meat. Basically, I don’t like touching bones. It just freaks me out! And this was BIG bones, and bones hacked away so I could see all the (scary, smushy) insides. )#(@$*(@_(&^%!!! So freakin’ SCARY!!!! I gingerly picked out a few pieces and nibbled at the meat, whilst frantically trying to avoid touching the bone. The meat was OK.. not particular amazing and really quite fatty. I’d eat it if I was starving to death, but otherwise, no thanks ;)
Their Black Beer was light and delicious though, and washed down the food well, because most of the dishes were highly flavoured and salted. I wouldn’t say Xinjiang food is my cup of tea.. but it was worth going because it’s interesting to have had it and was also a great night out with a big group of friends!
Lamb skewers – tasty for those that like a salt overload!
Lamb with bread croutons – very similar to the above in flavour
Fried rice with either lamb fat or butter – it was AWESOME
Minced lamb in crepes – I loved this one too
The half-a-lamb arrives with the waiters shouting out a jingle!
The lamb all hacked up – it really scared me
This was like devilled eggs – really nice, surprisingly
Homemade yoghurt – very tart (cos it’s unsweetened) but good
Our dinner spread :D
Their traditional Black Beer – perfect for washing down the food
“99 bottles, sitting on the wall”…..
Slipping into a food coma
Cultivating our food babies!