Thursday, January 27, 2011

Best Noodles on Earth @ Xinjiang World (新疆界)

One of the most interesting and delicious meals I had in Taiwan this past summer was at Xinjiang World (新疆界). I had to look this up on the interwebs, but apparently Xinjiang is where the Uyghurs live! I've never known much about the Uyghurs, but now I know that theirs is an amazing cuisine...

Xinjiang World is located in Danshui and - luckily for me - a stone's throw from my family's new place. We had dinner there back in August; my aunt and cousin did the ordering, I did the eating. (You gotta stick with what you're good at.)

We started with the baked buns (烤包子). The restaurant's baked buns are a hot commodity, and it has a stand in the main tourist street of our town just selling these buns.

The buns are filled with curried beef (or lamb) and onions. They were soooo wonderful. I loved the scalding, super thin, crispy bun... very much unlike your typical doughy Asian bun. Together with the curried beef and onion filling, this baked bun instantly won my heart.

And then, the star of the dinner show arrived: big plate chicken, or da pan ji (大盤雞)! From the minute this came out of the kitchen toward our table, it took my breath away. Why? Because it is literally a huge round metal pan, at least 3 feet in diameter, filled with chicken, veggies, potatoes, and the kicker: handmade thick+wide+long noodles.

I really can't describe this dish to do it justice. Just know that everything about it was spectacular. I mean, look! The noodles were the widest and longest I'd ever seen, and they were sooooo chewy/bouncy and perfect. I have a feeling Han would have passed out from the joy of eating these noodles. The sauce it all came in was a light curry, and it was nicely infused in all the veggies - even the potatoes, through and through, making the potatoes more delectable than expected. The chicken itself was tender and very flavorful.

You cannot visit this restaurant without getting the big plate chicken. But remember that it's a requirement to call ahead and order the dish at least a day before you go. The dish is their specialty, and it takes love and time to make.

We wanted other noodles, too, so we got the veggie pan fried noodle.

The noodles had the same perfect texture as the ones in the big plate chicken. I would have eaten more of this dish, but I was too distracted by the gigantic round thing in the middle of our table.

As if we hadn't had enough carbs, we also ordered fried rice with corn and mustard leaves.

This was a huge hit. I've never had fried rice like this before - it was so simple, didn't have any egg in it, and yet it was really quite amazing. The Uyghurs are definitely onto something...

Speaking of things I'd never had before: Xinjiang baked fish! It came wrapped in the same thin crisp dough of the baked buns. It definitely looked strange yet intriguing.

The fish was really fresh, baked in a lot of rosemary, and the wrapping was great. I actually like my rosemary in limited quantities, so it was a little too herby for me, but the sheer novelty of this dish was enough for me to love it.

I can't wait to visit Xinjiang World again in just a couple of months!!

Xinjiang World (新疆界)
78 Xinmin Street (新民街78號)
Danshui, New Taipei (台北縣淡水鎮)
Taiwan, R.O.C.
Phone: 02-2611-3223


  1. Wow! Those noodle dishes look great. I'd love to try them one day.

  2. Hahahha I love how the fish was also wrapped in that shell!! UhhhMigod that three foot tray is unbelievable ! Those noodles remind me of Xian famous foods here but look way more beautiful and fantastic! I cant wait to eat those with you one day!

  3. Very interesting! I've actually never been to Taiwan, but I lived in Xinjiang for a few years. It's interesting for me to compare what Taiwan calls "Xinjiang food" and what Xinjiang calls "Xinjiang food". Here are some of my pictures:

  4. very cool link and pictures, thanks for sharing! i will have to peruse through the fabulous-looking foods... :)

  5. Those noodles look soooo soft and perfect!
    I love the fish!