date of visit: December 2009
NOTE: since our visit the restaurant now claims to be under new management … we haven’t made it back to see if things have changed.
It was up to Andy to choose a venue for a Friday night dinner and, without hesitating, he knew he wanted to try out Tangritah Uyghur* on Grote Street.
This is a restaurant which is easy to miss – it is towards Morphett Street on the northern side of Grote, with a tiny shop frontage. A sign announces “Tangritah Uyghur Shish Kebab Restaurant: all foods are especially handmade”.
The Uyghur are an ethnic group which, predominantly, lives in north western China. They are Turkic, rather than Chinese, and their religion is Islam. In recent times, there has been some tension between the Uyghurs in China and the Chinese administration.**
Inside, the restaurant has just a few tables and the majority are set up bench-style, so you may end up sharing space with other diners. It is quite basic but as long as you’re not expecting silver-service I can’t see how this would be a problem.
There’s quite a range of dishes on the menu, and most are handily priced at just $10. We opted for lamb kebabs (5 for $10), a lamb pan pie (both Uyghur specialties) and a dumpling soup. To drink we just enjoyed the green tea. This meant that the bottom line was just $30 for ample food for 2.
The kebabs were served on huge skewers with a sensible dose of chilli. By this I mean that you could taste the chilli but it would probably only frighten the most sensitive palates.
For me the real wins of the meal were the pan pie and the dumpling soup. In my opinion, it’s possible that Tangritah Uyghur’s dumplings give Dumpling King a run for its money. Of course, that might be a point which requires further investigation …
The pan pie was not for the faint hearted … a lightly spiced lamb mince filling was encased in bread and then shallow fried. This is the type of food I love but it’s possible that people watching their diet might feel a little differently!
We polished off all of our food and felt very full afterwards so I suspect we may have been a little ambitious when it came to ordering. We watched tables near us and parties of 4 were happy sharing one of the $25 hot pots. A lot of the food is very rich and works on the principle of taking a little meat and making it go a long way. The lamb pan pie, in particular, would be fantastic winter fare.
If you happen to be near the Central Markets and you happen to be hungry, then a visit to Tangritah Uyghur should be on your list of things to do.
address: 116 Grote Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000
Incredibly cheap and tasty
Cheap, tasty Uyghur food – specialties like dumpling soup, shishkebabs and lamb pan pies. Hearty and warming food.
*If, like me, you have no idea how to pronounce this, it’s “wee-gar”.
** As this is a food blog rather than an ethnography or political blog, I’m going to leave it at that.