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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Silk Road Chinese Halal Restaurant, Haymarket

There are 116 different dishes on the foldout menu at Silk Road - each dish illustrated with a helpful photo - but I only want one thing. The Chinese hamburger.

"You really want the Chinese hamburger don't you," says Josh, as we work out which dishes to share.

I do. And I'm not budging.

Deciding on the rest of the dishes to order is no easy task, a kaleidoscope of dishes that cover the Xinjiang region, in China's north west. Its cuisine is noticeably influenced by its neighbours, including Russia, Mongolia, Kazahkstan, Afghanistan and India.

The food is simple but hearty: thick pancakes filled with mince, chilli chicken served with mantou buns and skewers of lamb and chicken wings, dusted generously with cumin.

The decor inside the restaurant is bright and welcoming, with scenes of camels trekking through the desert depicted in cheerful shades of orange and yellow. Plastic grape vines overhead are a reminder of life back home in Xinjiang, where they traditionally provide cool shade for diners seeking relief from  searing temperatures.

Chinese hamburger with lamb $5.50

The Chinese hamburger is the first to arrive, a modest looking bun that makes up in width what it lacks in height. The soft bun reminds me of Turkish bread, and although we are missing the lettuce that appears in the menu photo, it's a satisfying sandwich, filled with tender and saucy slices of pan-fried lamb, onion and red capsicum. 

Shredded potato with sour spicy flavours $8.50

I have a strange fascination with Uighur-style shredded potato, relishing the combination of slipperiness with the accented flavour of potato, intensified perhaps because the potato is not cooked all the way through.

The potato salad is cold in temperature but spicy with chilli; the vinegar acts as a palate cleanser even as the taste of garlic slowly builds. It's an addictive push-pull sensation, stimulating the tastebuds and appetite.

North Western-style fried flat noodle with beef $10.80

We finish with the North Western-style fried flat noodles. I love that when Josh asks about choosing the listed chicken option, our waitress shakes her head and says "No, you should have beef, it is better", scribbling on her notepad as confirmation.

The noodles are smooth little pillows, hand-sliced and bumpy, and satisfyingly chewy. It's a simple stir-fry of beef, onion and garlic chives, liberally flavoured with garlic and chilli.

Fancy a trek along the old Spice Road? You only need to trek down to Chinatown.

View Larger Map
Silk Road Chinese Halal Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Silk Road Chinese Halal Restaurant
Shop 2, 203 Thomas Street, Haymarket, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9211 5881

Opening hours:
Open 7 days 10am-10pm

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
23 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/02/2011 02:40:00 am


  • At 2/02/2011 3:10 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    noodle pillows! oh yes!

  • At 2/02/2011 4:48 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    We walked past this place the other day and loved the camel picture on the wall. :-) Chinese hamburger looks, uh, interesting. LOL

  • At 2/02/2011 8:52 am, Anonymous Emily said…

    I might try out this place next time. I have came across this place while looking for a dim sum place nearby. I think I'll go for the flat noodles too, perhaps with extra chili? ;)

  • At 2/02/2011 8:55 am, Anonymous Gaby said…

    Chinese hamburger! I want one!

  • At 2/02/2011 10:13 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    lol - how does the burger rate against Sydney's best? :D

  • At 2/02/2011 10:21 am, Anonymous Makan1976 said…

    Looks yummy. I think the burger looks interesting. thanks for the information, will try to see if i can go there soon. miss the lamb kebabs.

  • At 2/02/2011 10:37 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    oh wow the burger looks fantastic! i have walked pass this place a couple of times now... will check it out :)

  • At 2/02/2011 11:10 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    Thats one thing I didn't try when I was there. The burger looks great. Now you need to go back & try the sweet sticky rice dessert!

  • At 2/02/2011 12:19 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    That shredded potato dish looks amazing! I'm such a fan of vinegar :P

  • At 2/02/2011 12:47 pm, Blogger thang @ noodlies said…

    I'm loving the decor! Interesting burger, must give it a go!

  • At 2/02/2011 1:49 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    I know nothing about Uighur cuisine and the stark differences to other regions of Chinese food are most interesting. Hamburger?!

  • At 2/02/2011 3:02 pm, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Ooh! Another discovery...that hamburger looks very satisfying Helen!

  • At 2/02/2011 7:09 pm, Anonymous Josh (Nobal Glomad) said…

    Helen the pleasure was all mine to halve a burger with you. I'm putting the potato dish in the starchy + rather bland category but more importantly thank you for making me step out of my usual dumpling across the road box. You shots make the interior look fabulous too btw :)

  • At 2/03/2011 12:11 am, Blogger YaYa said…

    Chinese gnocchi pillows! I wouldn't have resisted the Chinese burger either!

  • At 2/03/2011 1:00 pm, Blogger susan said…

    I would happily have that hamburger for lunch any day. I love places with lots of picture menus as well.

  • At 2/03/2011 1:16 pm, Blogger Shanks said…

    The store banner in the last shot - the "Special Chill Chicken with Potato and Cap" sounds interesting all though it's probably just an "Engrish" typo :)

  • At 2/03/2011 2:03 pm, Blogger Brenda said…

    Oooo Chinese Hamburger....if I saw that on the menu I'd want to try it just to find out : )
    Oh and 116 different dishes?! Wow!!

  • At 2/03/2011 5:27 pm, Anonymous Simon @ the heart of food said…

    I like how the waitress directed you to the better option on the menu.

    $5.50 for the Chinese "burger" doesn't seem like bad value.

  • At 2/03/2011 8:47 pm, Anonymous Jenny @ Musings and Morsels said…

    This place is actually my favourite of all the Xinjiang restaurants in the surrounding area; more flavourful, robust and servings are GIGANTIC!
    You should definitely have the 'big plate chicken' (da pan ji) with a side serving of flat noodles. It's a famous Xinjiang dish and having tried it at several places around Sydney, I'd say it's definitely best here.

  • At 2/05/2011 1:40 pm, Anonymous sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    Chinese hamburger, pretty cool. I really like the look of the noodles,and that is funny about the waitress, no chicken for you guys that day, LOL.

  • At 2/06/2011 6:33 pm, Blogger Sydney Shop Girl said…

    I want the Chinese Hamburger too!

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  • At 2/12/2011 12:13 am, Anonymous Forager @ The Gourmet Forager said…

    I'm obsessed with the potato dish too - love the crunch! Last time we were there we were watching a long disturbing music video clip with some er.. decidedly un-pc themes.

  • At 2/23/2011 7:50 pm, Blogger suchi said…

    This blog is related shopping. New ideas, quality designs, sensible colors, and no-nonsense prices. I want to like the bag, but something is keeping me from liking it. Unfortunate because I own so many of his bags. This is really nice blog…



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