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Uyghur Taamliri -- Xinjiang/Kazakh Food comes to the Sunset. [San Francisco]

soupçon | Jul 8, 201509:54 PM

Uyghur Taamliri -- Central Asian Uyghur Food opened a few days ago inside a local bar called Chug Pub. It's the brainchild of "Carl," the American name of a young Uyghur from Xinjiang. He rented the bar's kitchen from the pub owner, a personal friend, and installed his father, who had cooked in Xinjiang, as chef.

Uyghur Taamliri's menu as of now is quite limited, but it's full of hard-core Xinjiang/Kazakhstan food, with no padding with pan-Chinese favorites. There are familiar items like Laghman and "Big Plate Chicken"and some I had a hard time researching, like Göşnan (a kind of meat pie) and Şorpa, a Kazakh lamb soup.

I went there hell-bent on vetting the laghman, but Carl was so keen on recommending the Şorpa I ended up ordering both. (Fortunately, the plate dishes come in two sizes, so I was able to avoid over-stuffing myself by ordering the smaller-size laghman plate.)

Şorpa is a rich lamb broth containing large chunks of lamb (neck?) both on and off the bone, as well as onion, potatoes, carrot and parsley. The broth is quite fatty, though it's a comforting fattiness from lamb fat, which happens to be my second favorite fat after duck fat. It's definitely a tonic for the flu or a head cold (Kazakh penicillin?)

Laghman is a hand-pulled noodle dish (the name is Uyghur for la mian), which is served as a "dry" (i.e. sauced, not in soup) noodle dish. At Uyghur Taamliri you get a choice of beef, chicken, or lamb with noodles (hand-pulled by Carl's father), onion and garlic. There are also vegetable "options" including "green pepper, red pepper, tomato, celery, Chinese cabbage potato, mushroom, black mushroom, oyster mushroom, black fungus, cowpea, eggs." Presumably one opts out, not in, as they all seemed to appear in my topping.

As I've noted in other laghman discussions, the flavors in this dish are a a lot more suggestive of Near Eastern or Mediterranean cuisine than Chinese cuisine, and Uyghur Taamliri's was no different in this regard. It had a soupçon of spice heat, which made it more enjoyable than the last one I had (at Shandong Deluxe). Overall, it reminded me of my first laghman, at Cafe Kashkar in Brooklyn several years ago, though I cannot recall its degree of spiciness.

I'll definitely be back to try some more interesting-appearing soups, as well as the meat pies, dumplings, kababs, etc. I scanned the full menu so it's fully readable:

Uyghur Taamliri
1849 Lincoln Way at 20th Ave.
(Inside Chug Pub)

Chug Pub,
Shandong Deluxe,
Schmidt's Pub,
Carl's Jr.
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