The last time we had Uyghur cuisine was the time we went all the way to Walthamstow to check out Etles Restaurant. Even though we enjoyed it a lot, it’s still rather far away for us. So when we heard of Turpan Uyghur, another Uygur restaurant but at a much more central location by Tottenham Court Road, it immediately jumped on my radar to visit as soon as possible.
Turpan Uyghur: Family-Run Neighbourhood Eatery
We ended up visiting for an early lunch on a Saturday when the restaurant has just opened its doors. It was very quiet then and we were the only customers for a little while until more people started to pop by for a quick lunch or takeaway. The restaurant really has this cosy, family-run feel to it, with bits of cultural decorations adorning their walls, and the staff have been incredibly warm and welcoming.
A little fun fact here: one of the Turpan’s owners was previously part of Etles Restaurant before moving on. Compared to Etles, Turpan Uyghur offers more options and a variety of dishes on the menu, which makes it a great spot if you want to learn more about Uyghur cuisine. All meats served are halal.
The Food: What We Ordered
Date of dining: September 2021
Samsa (£2.50 each)
We didn’t originally plan to order these but the staff mentioned they were just fresh out of the oven so we thought why not! Samsa is basically spiced-meat pies in the form of pastry parcels. Fresh out of the oven and warm to the touch, the pastries were aromatic and quite a lovely bite to start the meal. The pastry was super crispy and flakey, with a subtle touch of spice seeping through from the filling. As mentioned, the filling was aromatic but a teeny bit on the dry end where it missed an oomph. But overall, it’s still a great bite!
Tugur (Lamb Dumplings) (£10)
I absolutely love Uyghur dumplings as they are always so juicy! These ones at Turpan Uyghur are no exception. The dumpling dough was a little bit on the chewier end but it’s nothing major. They are not to the point of exploding with juiciness like some other ones I’ve had but were good and delicious nonetheless.
Lamb Kebab Skewers (£2.50 each)
Lamb kebab skewers are undeniably the staple of Uyghur cuisine. Generously coated with cumin and spices, the lamb skewers carried a very lovely tingle to the palate and were delicious to taste. The meat was fresh, tender and succulent. We each had two skewers and it was just the right portion.
Marjan Chop (Chopped Noodles) (£11)
For carbs, we went with the Marjan Chop. It is essentially a stir-fried noodles dish but, instead of long slurpy noodles, it’s chopped noodles. You get to choose from vegetables, beef, or chicken – we went with chicken.
It’s certainly interesting as you’re eating noodles but it also doesn’t feel like you’re eating noodles since it’s all chopped up – if that makes sense? Despite small bite sizes, you can still detect the light bounce and al dente texture from the handmade noodles. Flavour-wise, it’s got a good savoury touch and a saucy one to taste. It’s a solid dish to enjoy.
Uyghur Herbal Tea Pot (£4)
Last but not least, we finished the meal with a pot of Uyghur herbal tea to share. The tea was very soothing, with a subtle touch of spice seeping through accompanied by a floral fragrance. It’s the perfect finish to the meal.
Restaurant Review Summary
Turpan Uyghur is definitely a decent pick for a cheap & cheerful quick bite around Tottenham Court Road. The food’s lovely and got a homely touch to it which makes it all such a pleasant experience. If you’re around the area and looking for a fully halal restaurant for an easy no-fuss meal, this is one on the list to go. It’s also lovely to see another Uyghur restaurant popping up in town and bring the cuisine more into the spotlight!
All meats served are halal at Turpan Uyghur.
Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road