This Chinese new year we switched it up a bit, instead of the usual dim sum or seafood restaurants, we went to a Uyghurs restaurant! A group of us went to Omar’s Xinjiang Halal Restaurant, a hole in the wall recommended by Jon’s friend who lived in Beijing for awhile, and he swears by its authenticity. I haven’t had a lot of Uyghurs/Xinjiang food before (mostly just meat on sticks) so I’m excited to try it.
Xinjiang is located at the North western part of China. It’s an autonomous region with Uyghur being the a dominating ethnicity group. The lady (manager? owner?) is Uyghur and you can see her hand pulling noodle from time to time.
Mutton Kebabs is definitely a must-get dish. The meat is tender and full of flavors. Seasoned with cumin, chili powder and black pepper, the kebabs would be really great with some beer. Unfortunately this place doesn’t have alcohol and they seems to prefer you to NOT byob (I think Jon’s friend called and asked). The Meat Pie was alright.
Da pan ji is another well known dish of Xinjiang, it literally means “Big plate Chicken”, as that’s exactly what it is. Lots of cumin, Szechuan pepper and garlic, it’s mouthful of flavors in every bites. I love the fresh hand pull noodle in this a lot too.
Yogurt and Garlic cucumber. I’m glad I got the yogurt as my “drink” as it’s a great counter-balance with the food. The yogurt was home-made and refreshing.
Uyghur Pilaf – rice with lamb, cumin, carrots, raisin and lots of garlic and onion. Very good!
Ding ding chow mein – ding ding noodle is basically noodle chopped into little pieces? Can’t say I’m a fan of the texture and the sizes. The flavor is quite generic too (very Han chinese).
Hand-pulled noodle – the noodle is not as good as the flat ones in the big plate chicken. Lots of garlic and taste somewhat similar to ding ding.
Overall a satisfying meal! I wish we got more kebabs and lamb dishes, and less of the noodle. The star items were definitely the kebab, Big plate chicken and pilaf. I strongly recommended the yogurt as it goes well with the flavorful food (a bit like how lassi works well with Indian food).
Omar’s Xinjiang Halal Restaurant
1718 N New Ave/, Alhambra, CA 91776