|Lamb skewers / Zih Kawap. ($12)|
With the big adventure coming up and all, I've been crazy busy.
Dealing with my rental lease, clearing out my stuff, packing up my belongings, wrapping up loose ends...
Phew. It's hectic. I don't deal well with this kind of hectic.
But you know what helps? Catching up with my good friends before I go. Yes, meeting up with people takes up more of my precious time, but it's only right that my precious time goes towards precious friendships. Plus, having delicious conversations over delicious food is always, always worth making time for.
For our catchup, my friend Scott (by the way, check out his food website, MealDish) and I decided to go with Uyghur cuisine at Dolan Uyghur Food Heaven (166 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne). I had never been to a Uyghur restaurant before, so this was rather exciting.
The menu arrived and there were so many interesting dishes that sparked my curiosity. However, having heard about the generous servings here, we limited ourselves to just two items.
First, we decided upon the lamb skewers (zih kawap), which seem to be popular here, and I can understand why. Dusted with spices, they tingled delightfully upon the tongue. Actually, I think I've tried this dish before, at a street stall in Beijing a few years ago.
I was initially intrigued by the chopped noodles, but lured by Scott's promise of gigantic noodles instead, we ended up going for the stir fried spicy whole chicken with potatoes and capsicums, special homemade sauce and noodles (dapanji - which literally means "big plate chicken" in Mandarin, or yangyu tohu kormisi). The handmade noodles were indeed massive, and so was the dish itself. Scott says he’s had better - it seems this may have been at least partially prepared ahead of time rather than being made to order, as the potatoes looked a bit old, and the chicken was a little dry - but still, while I can see how it could have been better, I enjoyed it - not sure how much of that is due to novelty, but I'll take what I can get.
|Big Plate Chicken / Dapanji / Yangyu Tohu Kormisi. ($26)|
Anyway, we spent over two hours in the restaurant and in that time, we managed to finish the lamb skewers and polish off most of the chicken noodle dish, albeit only gently grazing by the end of the evening. I’m quite impressed at our efforts, I must say.
All in all, it was a great night out - so many things to talk about, lots of laughter, and, for me, a newly discovered appetite for Uyghur food.