I was introduced to Uyghur cuisine for the first time ever at Kaynam Restaurant in Carnegie. If you’re all over double-carbs and love your lamb, then you must seek out Uyghur food. In Australia, we have become accustomed to a certain style of Chinese food, a takeaway menu spanning the dumplings, the sizzling and the chilli. But China is home to many saliva-inducing, distinct regional cuisines and Uyghur is just one of them.
Before you start thinking it’s all Sichuan spice, guess again. The Xinjiang province (home to the Uyghurs) borders Mongolia, Russia, India and all the Stans and was the link on the Silk Road between Asia and the Middle East. As a result, Uyghur cuisine meets somewhere in the middle between central Asian and Turkic tradition, bubbling away from the melting pot of that famous trade route.
The Uyghur ethnic minority is predominately Muslim and so its cuisine is Halal, with lamb as the base of many dishes. Hand-pulled noodles, steamed buns, dumplings, spiced skewers and homemade bread are all on high demand.
Overall, the cuisine is mild with a few spicier highlights that you can customise to order. Cumin is the spice star of this show and tomatoes provide the base of many Uyghur sauces.
Must Try: I am obsessed with “century egg” so their Preserved Duck Egg Salad (pictured at the top of this post) was a must try for me. Definitely wasn’t disappointed! It was absolutely incredible, and all the combination of their soy sauce with all the condiments e.g. crushed garlic and ginger, coriander, chillies etc.. took this dish to the next level!! Their Charcoal Chicken Wings and Roasted Lamb Ribs were also absolutely BOMBlicious. The spices were just mouthwatering and has that amazing “kick”. I am salivating as I type this, just thinking about these amazing dishes.