Shenyang Travel Blog› entry 3 of 16 › view all entries
With fresh snow under our feet, we stumbled across an area known as "Muslim Street". There are several areas in Shenyang where many of Muslim minority people groups of China reside. They are well known for great eating places, specialising in pastry cases of meat and onions that are fried in oil. Quite different from any of the traditional Chinese food. The people are usually from the north-west region of China, or descendants from the Uiyghers or Hui people. They are certainly still considered to be Chinese, but have a distinct culture and religion. This area of "Muslim Street" is easy to find with a large blue mosque-like dome at the entrance.
On the street a kettle boils over hot coals and an open outside oven is used to cook the delicious pastry cases. Long frozen icicles of fat decorate the kitchen exhaust fan outlets. Once inside the restaurants are small and narrow (and warm) and there is a family like atmosphere. The entire family (grandparents, wives, husbands and children) appear to all work here. It obviously has regular clients too as there is an atmosphere of familiarity. The place we chose was fairly typical of any other. A lined old woman sat at the entrance in her matriarchial pose. Both men and women share the task of cooking. The food is accompanied with a hearty both of clear broth with chunks of meat. It definitely needs a good swig of soy and vinegar to give the broth some flavour. A thick layer of oil floats on top and helps to keep the soup warm. It might help to keep me warm also! The expense of the meal is directly linked to the quality of the meat. Our meat is fairly lean and is worth paying the extra for.
We wash down the pasty and soup with a bottle of coke. As we leave we are treated to a hearty handshake by the male owner (while the matriarch smiles curtly - maybe suspicious that her son is shaking hands with a foreign woman). And we assure them we shall return one day.