I just had a fun dining experience and thought I would spread the word. There was a post on here some time back about unusual cuisines in town, but this didn't get a mention. The Uyghurs are a Muslim minority in northwest China. Restaurant Uyghur is on St-Laurent in Chinatown, just south of La Gauchetiere (look for the red awning on the left, on the 1st floor level). The atmosphere is nil (though I'll give it clean) but the eats seem to be quite good. I just had the laghmen (sp?), which is a stir fry of sorts with lamb, veggies, and great fresh noodles. It was very flavorful, pleasantly spicy (I was asked how spicy I wanted, and said "medium"... those with high heat tolerance could easily take more), not health food exactly but not too bad. I got a complimentary dish of little sweets after the meal, and the service was pleasant (I'm a woman and dined alone). There were a number of vegetarian options, and the prices were good (I had the "small" portion, which was plenty of food, and it was about $7). I'd love to go back for more, but I'm just passing through town, so instead I'll throw it out for future chowhound consideration! What I had, at least, wasn't terribly exotic, but you wouldn't mistake it for typical "Chinese" so it was much more fun. (I ate at Restaurant VIP or whatever it's called the last time I was here and found it nothing special.)
Having a sweet tooth, I couldn't resist stopping off at the candy stand about a block west on La Gauchetiere and sampling "dragon's beard candy"... very light and peanutty... yum!
I'll also report that I looked for a mangosteen in a number of neighborhood groceries and none were to be seen! So wherever they are to be found, it isn't quite as simple as just dropping through Chinatown. (I find it implausible that they'd be "out of season" given that all kinds of produce is flown in from the tropics.)
Bon appetit -