Follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta in part one of our journey down the Silk Road in Houston at this classic east-meets-west restaurant. One of the newest restaurants to the international food scene in Houston is the Uyghur Bistro. The Uyghur people (pronounced Wee--Gur) have historic roots from the Turkish empire. They live predominantly in western China in the Xinjiang (pronounced shin-jon) province, also known as Turkestan (not to be confused with Turkmenistan). Turkestan is wedged in between China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan,. Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Tibet. This western region of China is cut off by two large deserts and, partly due to ethnic and religious differences, is politically isolated as well. The World Uyghur Congress and The Uyghur American Association highlight many political and social concerns and struggles that the Uyghur people experience.
Try the Samsa, a Uyghur take on Indian and Arab samosa or sambusa. It is essentially a meat filled pocket with a sweet glazed bread.
The lamb Kebab was one of our favorites. This is one of the dishes where the more western roots of Uyghur culture are evident. The Uyghur people have been part of several empires which have taken and retaken Central Asia
One of my personal favorites was the fried noodles. This restaurant is most famous for its more than 20 varieties which are made fresh every day and can be made to order.
The noodles in the Uyghur Fried Noodles are sliced noodles and are hearty comfort food. In part two, we have an up close look at the noodle making process.
Last but not least is the "Big Plate Chicken." It is stewed chicken with potatoes and sliced noodles at the bottom. Big plate means just that: big. Our group was seven people that day and we could not finish all of the chicken. There is a phone in the picture just for perspective, but it doesn't show how high the meat is piled.
Uyghur Bistro serves true Halal food. They are listed on the Zabiha app/site and advertise it on their website. If you are Chinese, Muslim, or just into really great fresh food, you are sure to love this restaurant.
Stay tuned for part two....