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Dolan Uyghur Cuisine

Restaurants Melbourne
Dolan Uyghur Cuisine
Photograph: Supplied/Dolan Uyghur Cuisine

Time Out says

Tender lamb skewers, hand-pulled noodles and more await you at the revamped Dolan Uyghur Cuisine

Uyghur cuisine is relatively uncharted here in Melbourne, but Dolan Uyghur Cuisine on Little Lonsdale Street is seeking to change that. The hole-in-the-wall restaurant wants to bring its cuisine into the spotlight and present it in a way it hasn’t been seen before.

Due to its geographical location, its people have drawn upon central Asia and Turkic countries for inspiration in their cooking. The resulting Uyghur cuisine is loaded with spices and heavy on the meat. Think hand-pulled noodles, plenty of tender lamb dishes and handmade bread. 

“Uyghur cuisine isn’t basic Chinese food or fast food. I want to boost everyone’s standards higher and I want our venue to be the nice restaurant that someone chooses to celebrate at,” says Rana, owner of Dolan Uyghur Cuisine.

And nice it is. Following the venue’s extensive renovations in 2019, a grandiose painting graces the back wall depicting a mukham (a traditional Uyghur folk band) and a lush Afghan rug takes up the opposing wall. There are hanging lamps dotted throughout the venue and dark wooden tables complete with black details including the bench seating and seats add to the moodiness of the venue. A couple looking for a quiet date night spot would be as happy here as a group of friends looking to catch up. 

As with many venues in the CBD, the restaurant was hit hard by its loss of audience, but has noticed plenty of locals venturing through and sampling this lesser known cuisine. “I’ve tried many things to uplift the venue and I even go grocery shopping every day to ensure all ingredients are fresh,” says Rana. 

The menu is heavy on lamb and there’s plenty of carb-on-carb action. Kawap, or juicy, charcoal-grilled skewers of lamb laced with cumin and a slight hint of chilli steal the show. But there are options for deniers of red meat, like tohu qorumisi – tender pieces of potato and chicken on the bone swaddled in a soft and silky curried gravy reminiscent of a Malaysian dish, spiked with an abundance of ginger and mixed in with bouncy, hand-pulled noodles. Cut through the richness of the meal with qetiq, a yoghurt-based drink that aids digestion and be on your merry way.


Address: 166
Little Lonsdale Street
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11.30am-9.30pm
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