Uyghur food is probably one of the lesser known Chinese cuisine. The Uyghurs are the Turkic ethnic groups inhabiting the Xinjiang autonomous northwest region of China. Located at the crossroad known as The Silk Route where trade and cultural exchanges between the East and West began centuries ago, their traditional cuisine reflects the multi taste of these regions. Chinese restaurants abound in Paris and while many catered to clientele searching for Chinese food without getting to know in depth of their regional specialty others would like to discovers and to know better other regional specialty. From Xinjiang to Zhijiang passing through Sichuan, Hunan, Guandong 7 days and 7 selected restaurants opens their doors to traditional Chinese cuisine. For this year’s festival I have selected Dolan Uyghur. A charming left bank restaurant, a side street of Quai de la Tournelle across the Notre Dame Cathedral. Entering this lovely place you are warmly greeted by Nueraili Maimaitimusha, of Uyghur origin who first came to study cinematography and ends up opening his own restaurant two years ago. Unlike other Chinese food, Uyghur traditional dish consists more of grilled meats with savoury spicy sauces and especially the fabulous hand rolled rice and wheat noodles known as Leghman served with vegetables and mead is certainly not to be missed! Cold spicy meat in ginger and garlic sauce and pickled vegetable salad to begin with, and rose tea all throughout the meal. The “Samsa” (it probably derived from the Indian Samosa) or the filled meat pies comes next together with deep fried ravioli served with spicy sauce. Like many Central Asian cuisine skewered spiced meats are definitely on the menu such is the “Zig Kawap” grilled veal served with either the flat Indian style chapati bread or yoghurt and “Polo” the traditional carrot rice. Yoghurt and rice Pilaf style is a common blend in the Central Asian region even as far as Russia, which seem to also dominate Uyghur cuisine. More Uyghur hand rolled “Boso” and “Toxo” flat rice and wheat noodles cooked in al dente with meat and vegetable in spicy sauce are just divine. After a nice hefty meal then comes the best part, the traditional “matang” a nougat style chewy sweet made of nuts, almonds and honey. Wow…that was a royal meal, and next stop is a nice long walk along the Seine and dreaming of my next visit to Xinjiang.
Here are some mouthwatering Uyghur dishes orchestrated by Nueraili at his restaurant …
And his charming restaurant with a special corner for traditional musical show.
5 rue de Poissy
+ 33 (9) 83 20 88 57
+ 33 (6) 51 90 65 43