Chinese Chili

Thanks to Indians and Pakistanis, spicy Chinese Halal cooking is famous all over the world.

Chinese Halal Cuisine's menu is long on offal, though I haven't succeeded in ordering any. I tried to order a dish called "Lamb's Liver, Kidneys, and Heart with Brown Sauce," but the waitress said they were out. Then I tried to order lamb's liver by itself, and she said they were out of that too. I can't decide if she was telling me the truth, or sparing me from ordering something she thought I wouldn't like.

On a lunch visit to Chinese Halal Cuisine, I sampled a dish called cumin lamb, which was very similar to the Xin Jiang Special Lamb, but without the greens. The thin-cut lamb was chewy and flavorful, and the onions were still bright white and crunchy. But the Chinese chili cried out for cold beer.

The interior of Chinese Halal Cuisine, with its square lines and stone walls, feels like a monument to something. It is grand, but sparsely decorated. The wooden tables are lined up in straight rows. The waitstaff speaks next to no English and isn't very helpful. Factor in the Muslim prohibition against alcohol, and you end up with a hopelessly dreary dining experience.

The Xin Jiang Special Lamb smells likeTex-Mex chili con carne.
Troy Fields
The Xin Jiang Special Lamb smells likeTex-Mex chili con carne.


Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Fungus salad: $5

Xinjiang lamb: $11

Eggplant: $8

Chicken: $9

Mongolian beef: $10

9896 Bellaire Blvd., 713-773-1670.

But don't let the "Forbidden City" vibe keep you from checking out this unique version of Chinese food. If you are an Asian food lover and you have never sampled the real Chinese version of halal food, you owe it to yourself to try it. Just don't bother sitting down.

Get your order to go and take it somewhere you can appreciate those wild, spicy Uyghur flavors with a culturally inappropriate frosty beverage.

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