Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Tuesday, May 24, 2022 — Houston, TX

New Addition to Chinatown Spices Things Up

spicy_laghman

By Lauren Heller     2/15/17 5:25pm

Many of the Chinese restaurants around Houston serve food from the Hunan or Sichuan provinces, although Chinese cuisine encompasses many regional cuisines. However, Uyghur Bistro, a restaurant that opened last year in the same strip mall as H-Mart on Bellaire differentiates itself from these other restaurants by serving dishes from Xinjiang. Also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, this province borders Mongolia and Kazakhstan and is home to the Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic group, that also live in other Central Asian countries.

As a result, Uyghur Bistro serves halal meat and does not serve alcohol or pork. The dishes themselves are a unique blend of Chinese and Middle Eastern flavors. One of the restaurant’s specialties is laghman, or handmade wheat noodles. The spicy laghman, came with beef and the kinds of vegetables you would normally find on a kebab at a barbecue. The noodles were thick and chewy, balancing the spices well to create a substantial entree.

We also ordered the cumin lamb with onions and green onions. I’m not one to eat lamb very often as it tends to be tough, but this restaurant did a fantastic job. The pieces of lamb were juicy and tender, mixing well with both plain rice and the laghman noodles. The flavors of the cumin and other spices were subtle, so that no component was overpowering. If lamb suits your fancy, there are several other lamb dishes, including cumin and chili flake lamb kebabs as well as meat bread, a homemade pita bread with braised lamb shank.



Uyghur Bistro also offers some vegetarian options comprised of noodles, tofu and vegetables, such as mapo tofu and garlic cucumber salad.

There was no dessert on the menu, so if you have a sweet tooth I would recommend checking out other dessert cafes in Chinatown afterwards. Or you could walk over to H-Mart and load up on baked goods from Tous Les Jours or snacks in the grocery section. Everything at Uyghur Bistro incorporates aromatic spices, so getting something minty wouldn’t hurt!

Finally, Uyghur Bistro is a sit-down restaurant where servers come to take your order, but at the end of the meal you pay at the cash register. I found online that sometimes they don’t take credit, so I would recommend that you bring cash to cover the bill just in case. Luckily, the prices are all very reasonable. The spicy laghman and cumin lamb served generous portions with quality ingredients and each only cost $12, making for an affordable and filling meal.


Overall, if you’re looking to venture past the dominant Chinatown fare, I would highly recommend checking out Uyghur Bistro to try something new.



More from The Rice Thresher

A&E 4/19/22 11:35pm
Summer Book Recommendations

With summer right around the corner, many students’ brains will finally have space for things other than organic chemistry or the latest coding problem that needs to be solved. Take this time to read for enjoyment again. The following are a series of summer recommendations perfect for time on a plane, by the pool or just on your couch. All incorporate travel in one way or another, and each has its own adventure that will leave you yearning for more. 

A&E 4/19/22 11:32pm
Review:‘The Northman’ sees Robert Eggers take his work to a larger stage

Robert Eggers is a filmmaker whose work has been defined by its small scale and intensive focus on characters. His prior films, “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse,” both feature a small cast and embrace environmental horror as terrifying events slowly pull the main ensemble apart. His reputation for his smaller scale and focus is partly why “The Northman” was so interesting upon its announcement — “The Northman” blows up Egger’s storytelling onto a massive scale. The locations, number of characters, and time period all dwarf his prior films. For the most part, Eggers steps up to the plate, succeeding in his ambition. “The Northman” will be available to watch in theaters April 22. 


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.