Wulumuchi (pronounced wu-lu-mu-chi) is the Chinese Romanisation of the Uyghur word ‘UÅNrümqi’ and refers to the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. Not only as an easier pronouncer, Wulumuchi is also London’s latest tribute to Chinese regional cookery: a lively and aptly-decorated restaurant dedicated to the Chinese xibei (meaning ‘North-west’) regional cuisine, foregrounded by Xinjiang-style cooking.
Nee Hao Magazine restaurant profile
With Turkic Uyghur Muslims being the region’s largest ethnic group (as opposed to Han Chinese migrants), Xinjiang cooking undoubtedly comes with vibrant, exotic flair, and is a rare culinary gem that has finally found its way from the far away land of North-west China to the heart of London Chinatown, at Wulumuchi!
Wulumuchi’s simple yet well-balanced menu captures the essence of Xinjiang cuisine: (i) the abundant use of wheat (instead of rice) to make dumplings, noodles, and, of course, the all-essential Xinjiang nann bread, in central-Asian style; and (ii) the dominance of lamb dishes (including entrails) cooked in a wide variety of ways and with the use of a plethora of spices (e.g. cumin seeds and red pepper flakes).
The most popular and definitive Xinjiang classic – Da Pan Ji, literally meaning ‘big plate chicken’ – is a large platter of chicken with wide ‘belt noodles’ and mixed vegetables bursting with flavours, and is a must-try! Other Xinjiang specialties include perfectly-grilled ‘lamb skewers’crusted with plenty of cumin seeds and chilli flakes; hot and fiery ‘Ding Ding hand-sliced noodles’; and succulent, finger-licking good ‘mutton ribs’. From ‘sliced chicken drumsticks stuffed with preserved eggs’ to ‘sweet and sour shredded fruits and Chinese cabbage’, a special range of cold starters is another culinary star on the menu.
What these dishes have in common is pungency, with a long, memorable and satisfying finishing taste! Wulumuchi also offers an unusual selection of vegetable dishes: ‘handsliced aubergine’, ‘stir-fried daylilies with black fungus’, and ‘spicy stir-fried lotus roots slices’. To complete the authentic Xinjiang dining experience is to try the quintessentially-Xinjiang drink – goat milk tea, which comes as savoury or sweet! Notably, Wulumuchi is also Chinatown’s only restaurant that does not serve pork, with an authentic Xinjiang menu full of exotic spices’ kicks and moreish flavours!
After being under preview for the past few weeks and taking feedbacks, Wulumuchi finally opened officially on 23rd of April. Wulumuchi are promising us a simple, seasonal North-west (xibei) regional Chinese cuisine encompassing exotic and popular dishes from the Xinjiang province.
Wulumuchi Restaurant. 16 Lisle Street, Soho, London