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Restaurants & Bars 6

Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant

elise h | Mar 29, 200102:06 AM

Went to this fine restaurant tonight with a fellow chowhound. Exceeded all expectations! The food was very different from standard Chinese fare, probably as a result of the Turkish influence. Interesting that Muslims represent 2% of China's population. Also, the Chinese ethnic minorities, such as the Muslims, have a disproportionate political significance because many of them live in strategic border areas. The Muslim Uygurs in Xinjiang, in the far western region, border on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.

We ordered 1) Mandarin Lamb, which came with an exotic cumin coriander seasoning. Note, lots of lamb in Mandarin cuisine 2) stired flour ball with 3 flavor. The flour balls are like small wheat dumplings (since this food comes from the north, you will see more wheat than rice as a carbohydrate). The balls were just the right chewy, soft texture. So essentially this dish was sauted meat, vegetables, and dumplings. 3) Peking beef pie, which was like a whole wheat onion pancake, with ground beef rather than onions 4) eggplant with spicy garlic sauce. All dishes were stellar. The waiter was friendly, made excellent recommendations, and checked with us several times as to how we were enjoying the dishes. Prices were reasonable and parking was shockingly easy (right in front!). The only less than perfect aspect of this restaurant is that diners get blasts of cold air when the door opens or when the staff decides to open the windows. All in all, it was exciting to try so many delectable new dishes.

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