I am always intrigued when I come across a cuisine I’m unfamiliar with. Although I’m Chinese, I’m not well-versed when it comes to the numerous ethnic minority groups in China, and have no experience with Uyghur cuisine from China’s Xinjiang province.
Kashgar Grill is located on Jeffrey Road across the street from Manassero Farms, in the same plaza as Clay Oven and Dunkin Donuts. As I peruse the menu, I realize how little I know about this cuisine. The menu is in English and Chinese characters, and although I am able to read both, I’m having trouble deciphering what the dishes are exactly. We ask the lovely man but it is difficult for him to explain in English. Luckily, we found solace in Mandarin.
We begin with Uyghur Style Yogurt ($3.39) topped with honey and walnuts. It is a simple appetizer which helps open up the palate for what’s to come.
Nang ($6.99) is Xinjiang-style flatbread which you can eat with the yogurt, or any of the dishes we’ve ordered, that’s yet to arrive. The bread itself is a tad dense for me, but through a little research, I’ve come to find that there are numerous styles of nang bread found within Xinjiang province itself.
Cold Bean Jelly ($7.99) is a dish comprising chunks of mung bean jello doused with a marinade of chiles and vinegar, among others. It isn’t very spicy, but definitely possesses a slightly mouth-puckering effect from the vinegar. Very refreshing and light.
Nang Filled With Meat ($17.89) is a flaky pastry filled with lamb. It is piping hot when it arrives but we are eager to dig in. The dough is nice and crispy and the ground lamb filling quite tasty.
Lamb Grill ($7.99) are two skewers of lamb coated with a strong cumin presence. The lamb is fantastic and robust in flavor. I loved its strong lamb flavors – maybe a tad pungent for those who aren’t fond of gamey lamb.
If that’s the case, go for Fried Lamb Slice ($19.99) stir fried lamb with onions and scallions, also seasoned with cumin. We devoured this with relish, and longed for more.
Noodle with Fried Meat ($16.89) is somewhat deceiving. The lamb is not so much fried, as it is stir-fried, and there is a bunch of vegetables thrown in as well. However, the noodles are hand-pulled, and they are simply the best noodles I’ve eaten in quite some time. They are chewy and perfectly al dente. My only complaint is that there isn’t enough of it on the plate!
I’ve been to Kashgar Grill several times, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed our meal, albeit, the pricing on some of the dishes is a bit high. Still, I loved chatting with the lovely man who is concerned we might have not loved our food, even though we ate everything on the plates. I can’t wait to come back again to try some other dishes, such as the thick hand-pulled noodles and tripe.
15455 Jeffrey Rd
Irvine, CA 92618
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