Mongol Xool / Asian Grill/ Togi's Mongolian Cuisine (Oakland)

Asian Grill is one of the two Mongolian restaurants in the Bay Area. There have separate Japanese and Mongolian menus, and the latter is constrained to a few items including noodles and stews. I asked the chef about specialties he’d like to have on the menu, and he said he could think of a few, but they would be too labor-intensive.

The handmade Mongolian noodles are steamed on top of sautéed vegetables, then grilled to finish. The flat, tagliatelle-width noodles are chewy, with a texture halfway between that of a flour tortilla and fresh pasta. There’s a formidable amount of charring and a salty sauce that gets wicked up as they sit on a heated iron plate. The noodles feel similar to chao bing (aka Beijing style cake), gridded flour and water pancakes that get sliced into wide strips and stir fried.

We also got the lamb dumplings. The meat let out a ton of juice, more than your average local xiao long bao. The skin was loosely crimped at the top.

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Thanks for the report. How did you rate the dishes?

Did he tell you what those specialties that he wouldn’t make are?

Thanks for the info. Apparently I’ve been blissfully unaware of this place for the last 10 years or so.

I had to look up the address:

352 14th St
Oakland, CA 94612
b/t Webster St & Franklin St

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I loved the noodles! The only bay area noodles I can think of with as much char are rice-based. I shared dinner with some other people who read Hungry Onion so maybe they can think of others.

This is the first time I’ve had Mongolian dumplings, so I’m not sure what to expect-- so far, I haven’t liked Uyghur dumplings and find Central Asian dumplings to have faults. I liked the juice in their dumplings, but found it to dehydrate the meatball. I prefer a doughy wrappers, so wasn’t a fan of the skins, which reminded me of gyoza.

Dang, I should’ve asked what else the chef is capable of! They were not busy on a Friday night so it’s a good place to grab a meal without grab a meal without a wait.

You’ve inspired me to share one of my all-time favorite pieces of food writing, by William of Rubruck in the 13th Century

Of their food and victuals you must know that they eat all their dead animals without distinction, and with such flocks and herds it cannot be but that many animals die…

https://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/culture/food/rubruck2.html

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Since trying the noodles, I’ve been looking into Mongolian tsu-van recipes.

A couple things stand out–

-it seems like the noodles are always rolled out into large sheets and either oiled before cutting, or griddled on the central stove, if made in a ger.
-as the chef described, but had difficulty communicating the “steam-fry” technique, the noodles are indeed steamed on top of the lamb and veg mixture
-oddly, none of the videos I watched spent any time mixing the noodles back in to the lamb/veg mixture and cooking in the oily mixture to develop a crust like I liked in the noodles from Asian Grill. They usually showed the noodles on top mixture is stirred together, then served.

This English-speaking Canadian (seems like his mom is Mongolian) provides one of the steamed-only recipes, with oiled sheets of noodles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRzhfapxfDw

This subtitled version uses pre-cooked mutton, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hK_XEvtyG0 takes place in a ger, and “bakes” the noodle sheet on a griddle before slicing to noodles and steaming (2:39)

Another ger version, seen after griddling here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DrPRkItbIc at 50 seconds

These Mongolian vegetarians oil, then cut and steam their noodles.

In any case, I’ll probably be trying various noodle techniques out sometime soon.

I liked the dumplings more than I expected to. It’s a fairly simplistic lamb flavor, but very juicy, at least for those that haven’t burst. The meat seemed more coarsely chopped than meatball texture.

The staff and Mongolian customers tended to favor the fried meat pies (khuu-shur), which didn’t appeal at the time, but might be a better vehicle for a coarsely chopped lamb mixture that releases juices.

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Luke Tsai wrote a very informative review of the restaurant, which will soon be renamed Togi’s Mongolian Cuisine.

Nice shout out to Hungry Onion.

Props to hyperbowler for making the original discovery. If anyone’s interested, it seems the last line of the review was omitted from the online version — it has been fixed now.

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Heh, I just made the first report-- @tm.tm , who did some cool experiments to recreate the Mongolian noodles at home, and two others shared that and some other meals that night!

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@theluketsai Thanks for the shoutout!

Seriously, if Togi is ready to roast that lamb, we should organize a lamb-out to savor the real Mongolian BBQ.

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I’m excited you got the intel that he does briefly griddle the noodle sheet.

actually it’s on the corner of Webster St. & 14th St. no name posted.
take out menu has “Mongolian Cuisine” as name. times on menu different than those posted on Y.
closed Tuesday.

lamb noodles (8.99) testy, they were out of the steam dumplings.
-sadly, some msg was used…

potato salad(4.5) freshly cubed, with peas & carrots included.
-very fresh tasting, good amount of food. needed a little black pepper to make it great.

FWIW I received a comment on my blog post about this place, saying the new sign is up and it’s Tugi’s, not Togi’s.

Closed according to Yelp.

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