Eating in Urumqi

Famous Local Food

Urumqi's culinary culture is rich and unique, a nice break from your typical Chinese fare. Of course, you can still find lots of typical Chinese food including Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine, but the local ethnic food and snacks are very tasty and very hot! Uygur, Mongolian, and Hui minority cuisine will all make your mouth water!

As both the Uygur and Hui minorities are Muslim, pork is rare in Xinjiang. Only Han Chinese eat pork here. It is therefore, important to remember to respect this tradition and remember that most meat served to you will either be mutton, beef, chicken or possibly duck. Xinjiang cuisine really excels at the preparation of mutton and Mutton Kebabs are popular throughout China. Other typical Xinjiang dishes include Lamian noodles, Nan bread, and Uygur rice.


Famous Local Dishes
Roasted Stuffed Buns is another Uygurs' food very popular at festivals or wedding. The stuffing of the buns is a combination of chopped mutton, beef and sheep's-tail fat. Then add chopped onions, salt and cumin. Seal the stuffing in Dough Square, and put in an oven to roast for 10 - 20 minutes. The buns are thin-skinned, with tender meat stuffing and very delicious.
Zhua Fan (Rice Eaten with Hands) is cooked with ingredients from fresh mutton, carrot, vegetable oil and rice. This food is soft, delicious and nutritious. It is consumed at the festivals, funerals and weddings of Uygurs and Uzbeks. People habitually pick the food from the tray by hand hence the name 'Rice Eaten with Hands'. Nowadays, people use chopsticks and spoons instead of fingers. We recommend the No.17 restaurant in May the First night market and Wuyuehua Restaurant opposite No. 17 in Hetian Jie for your Zhua Fan experience.
Other specialties worth mentioning are Milk Tea, Yoghourt Made of Mare's Milk, Rice-Filled Sausages, and Stewed Mutton Eaten by Hands, etc.

Famous Local Snacks
Xinjiang Kebabs are chunks of mutton thread on skewers and roasted over charcoal. The kebabs are turned continually and basted frequently, and when they are almost done, salt, pepper paprika and cumin are sprinkled on them. Kebabs are crispy outside and tender inside, slightly salty and hot. They are not greasy and have no unpleasant smell. They are sold in the streets and bazaars throughout Xinjiang. The Yang Fan Kebabs at May the First night market is one of the most popular kebabs restaurants in Urumqi.
Lamian noodles, known in Chinese as Lamian or Lamiantiao are popular with many ethnic groups both in Xinjiang and the rest of China. The name 'Lamian' means 'pulled noodles'.
The noodle dough is pulled in a special way to create thinner and thinner strings of dough, and finally, noodles! Then the noodles are boiled quickly and various ingredients are added, including oil, mutton pieces, cooked tomato and chili peppers.
Sometimes the noodles are stir-fried along with these ingredients, which can only be described as a totally different, yet equally delicious taste.

Nan Flat Bread is the staple bread of Xinjiang cuisine. It is a crucial part of the Uygur diet. The word 'Nan' originates from the Persian language and this type of bread is popular throughout the Arabic and Middle Eastern World.
While there are different varieties of Nan in Xinjiang, this bread is basically made by sticking dough to the inside wall of an extremely hot oven and then after a few minutes, removing the cooked bread. The shape of the bread is typically round, flat and golden brown.
Other varieties include Oil Nan (Younang), Sesame Nan (Zhimanang), and Mutton Nan (Rounang), etc

Recommended Restaurants

Rose Garden Restaurant
The Rose Garden offers comfortable dining in a relaxed and informal European setting overlooking the elegant lobby. The restaurant's open kitchen serves delicious local and western buffet and ala carte dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Open: 07:00 am to 02:00 am 

Green Bamboo Restaurant
A superb modern Chinese restaurant with 16 tastefully appointed private dining rooms and ala carte seating offers a tantalizing selection of Cantonese cuisine, prepared by our leading Hong Kong chef. 
Lunch: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Dinner: 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm

Crescent Village Restaurant
Amidst the modern decor of the Muslim restaurant with its 8 well-appointed private dining rooms, the Muslim master chef prepares the best of local Xinjiang cuisine.
Lunch: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Dinner: 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm

Southern Vernal Restaurant
Specializing in China Eastern cuisine, the Southern Vernal restaurant is a regional Shanghainese restaurant with 8 tastefully decorated private dining rooms surrounding an open courtyard ala carte dining area. Savor the best in Shanghai cuisine matched to perfection and signature recipes.
Lunch: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Dinner: 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm

Golden Jade Restaurant
Step through the majestic entrances and be inspired by the splendid settings of the old and new in its 12 tastefully decorated private dining rooms, exquisite Beijing cuisine Prepared by Master Chefs.
Lunch: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Dinner: 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm


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