Right after eating chicken soup with mini pelmini at Cafe Glechik, JM and I walked a few blocks over to get some Lagman ($6) at Cafe Kashkar. I felt even closer to home here: when we walked in, I thought we had walked into my grandmother’s dining room. Then, we were given chopsticks. Eh? I thought we were in a Russian hood!
Well, after some research, it all makes sense now. Kashgar is apparently a city within the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, and almost half of the population of Xinjiang is made up of Turkish-speaking Uyghur Muslims. A map showing what borders this province helped shed some light as well.
So the food is mostly halal food with lots of mutton and a Chinese influence. Take, for example, the lagman I tried. “Lagman” = “la mien” in Mandarin Chinese = “pulled noodles” (thank you, thank you, I still remember my Mandarin!). The noodles here were clearly hand pulled. Each noodle was too uneven, with some parts thin and other parts thick, to have been cut by a machine. It was refreshing to see and even more delightful to eat. The texture – a springy bite – was absolutely perfect, and I’m not sure I’ve eaten better noodles.
The meaty broth, while a bit on the salty side, included an abundance of tender lamb, red and green bell peppers, shredded lettuce/celery leaves (?), celery, long beans, and I think some bits of star anise. It was a hugely happy reminder of the beef noodle soup my family and I often ate but with its own little twists.
Now I’m hungry and really craving a big bowl of Lagman, so I think I should end this entry here. I hope I can find something just as good in LA when I move there at the end of the month.
1141 Brighton Beach Ave
(between Brighton 14th St & Brighton 15th St)
Brooklyn, NY 11235