Uyghur – to understand this wildly different Chinese cuisine, it helps to situate it – so we’re talking about the northwest corner of China. It’s bordered by Mongolia, India and several of the ‘istans. My Russian cab driver tells me he brings his kids here, because it freaks them out when the Chinese restaurant staff speak to them in Russian. It’s none-too-fancy, with bright yellow walls decorated with Uyghur knickknacks and a Mom-and-Pop kind of feel, all the way down to the lacy white curtains.
The menu (thankfully pictorial) shows Chinese, Turkish and Middle Eastern influences, with a tendency towards lamb and/or bready dishes.
As you can imagine, most eat well with BYO beer.
Bash Tamlik Puqah Botkisi ($8) is a good place to begin. It’s an appetite-inducing salad of tofu, capsicum and cucumber that summons Sichuan cuisine.
The rest of our dishes arrive in a flood. There’s Gosh Poshkal ($8), where two thin crisp pastry discs enclose a thin layer of lamb and onion (think Chinese spring onion pancake)...
...and Nan Gush Kormisi ($15) a dry style stir fry of beef, capsicum, garlic, chilli and bread.
Food is not very hot, or highly flavoured, but satisfying all the same, right down to a plate of Samsa ($12.50) otherwise known as Uyghur samosas.
Sydney Uyghur Cuisine
314 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (0406) 002 461