A Uyghur restaurant in Walthamstow.
The Uyghurs (pronounced ‘wee-guhs’) are a Muslim ethnic group found in westernmost China and Central Asia. Their cuisine is a curious blend of influences – Chinese, Middle Eastern, Persian – all facilitated by the historical to-ing and fro-ing along the Silk Road. Four thousand-odd miles to the west, on a quietish stretch of Walthamstow’s Hoe Street, is Etles: a small, family-run restaurant specialising in Uyghur dishes.
Inside, it’s homely, the walls decorated with hangings, miniature instruments and the doppa hats that Uyghurs wear. The trad dishes are the ones to go for, like the fantastic ganbian chaomian: a huge, steaming plate of deliciously chewy hand-pulled noodles not unlike German spätzle, studded with veal and garnished with sesame seeds. Sadly, lamb polo (think ‘pilau’, that is, rice) was dry and nondescript. Kidney kebabs made for a great side, smoky from the grill and generously seasoned with chilli flakes. (There was a lot of offal on the menu. We couldn’t quite bring ourselves to order the marinated cow’s stomach.) They don’t sell booze, so do nip to the off licence first. It’s a great spot for locals who fancy getting their chops messy over a cheap meal.
235 Hoe Street
|Transport:||Tube: Walthamstow Central.|
|Price:||Dinner for two with service (no drinks): around £25.|
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Unsure what the Time Out reviewer ate or why 3 stars were only awarded. For context, myself and 5 other friends who all lived in China separately and together go to Etles really often.
The quality of the food is insane - we had all missed Muslim Chinese food upon our respective returns to England and this has exceeded the quality of even the food we had when we were in China. Mukhaddes is the best host, and goes out of her way to accomodate and to welcome. The food is amazingly spiced and all cooked fresh to order.
Honestly every dish we have here is amazing and it is too tough to pick one out. This is the most authentic Uyghur food you will find in London.
Don't be put off by the luke-warm Time Out review, I really encourage everyone to try out this amazing, authentic, friendly and different restaurant!