|Good for Groups|
Never had Uighur food before? You’re not alone. In North America, only a handful of restaurants specialize in the cuisine, which descends from a nomadic band of Turks who settled in northwestern China. The northern Chinese character is immediately evident—the emphasis on stuffed buns and hand-cut noodles, the use of star anise and chilies—but then you dig into the minced meat with noodles. Looks like a typical stir-fry, with peppers and onions, but the Middle Eastern influence eventually reveals itself: The noodles are short and coated in a rich meat sauce. Queen Amannisa isn’t a smooth ride (the pastries are disappointing, and some dishes feel too quickly rendered), but the highs are high, especially a massive tureen that comes across as a cleaning-out of the fridge—bone-in chicken, thick noodles, potatoes, onions, peppers, chilies, all drenched in a fascinating red sauce—but sure doesn’t taste like it.
Also good: Dry spicy noodles; green beans.