Herembag, a restaurant chain from Xinjiang autonomous region in northwest China, opened their first US location in Fremont and plans to open more in the future.
The first page of the menu contains appetizers and specialties of the Uyghur people, an ethnic group in Xinjiang whose language and cuisine share more with their Central Asian neighbors than China proper. The remainder of their menu contains Chinese-American items.
Raisins and carrots play a central role in the polo, a Uyghur pilaf, and their flavor and sweetness comes through in each bite. The rice is oilier and less fluffy then the polo at Uyghur Taamliri in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset, and more to my liking. The polo has two sides— a small salad and a good lamb shank!
Continuing on the lamb theme, I got the lamb shish kebab, which is served with a side of rice and a salad. The kebab was lightly seasoned with cumin and chili flakes, and the meat was tender with no gristle. It was similar to the kebab at Uyghur Taamliri in that the spicing was not aggressive and there is not much fat. I prefer fattier meat, but not as much as the Xinjiang lamb (ribs?) at Z & Y.
A few other specialties include samsa, a pillow shaped pocket of dough filled with meat, and gosnaan, a round meat pie. The server said that the legman, Uyghur-style noodles stretched by hand, contain flour, water, and egg, which gives the noodles a stronger bite. Egg is atypical in non-Uyghur restaurants that use the same noodle making technique.
The server said that chicken kordak, more commonly known as dapanji or big plate chicken, and the dry-fried lagman are newer dishes to Xinjiang.
They also have milk teas, including a special ‘xin jiay’ milk to you that I tried. It tasted like it might have a salty yogurt base, and I like that it was even milder than a similar drink at 85°C.
Eden Silk Road Cuisine
39144 Paseo Padre Pkwy Fremont, CA 94538