Sunday, 8 July 2018

Taste of Xinjiang in Western

Skip the diluted ketchup -- just eat this roasted lamb leg straight! So good!
Earlier this week I took three colleagues to have dinner at Ba Yi, the well-known Xinjiang restaurant in Western.

For one of my co-workers, the restaurant is around the corner from where he lives so it was quite surprising he hadn't eaten there yet.

Shredded potato with dried chillis and peppers
I duly made a reservation a few days before and pre-ordered a roasted lamb leg. Previous times when I came here, it was packed with diners -- the Tuesday evening we went it was a relatively slow evening.

In any event I ordered a few dishes to go with our lamb leg and waited with anticipation.

First to arrive at the table was the Xinjiang salad, and we had two portions split among four of us. Perhaps there were too many onions and not enough tomatoes, but it was refreshing with the cucumber, and a few peppers to make it interesting, marinated in vinegar.

Next came the main event -- lamb! A server showed us the whole lamb leg and then took it back to the kitchen to have it sliced up. It was in a word delicious. There was plenty of cumin to marinate the meat, that was extremely tender and juicy even though it was cooked through. Needless to say we polished the lamb off quickly. It was a winner.

Chicken stewed in a spicy sauce with noodles underneath
I also ordered some lamb skewers, but these were a complete disappointment -- how could they have been so different from the roast lamb leg? They didn't have much taste and not much meat on the metal skewers either. A mental note to never order them again!

Luckily I was redeemed by the shredded potato that's blanched, then stir-fried with dried chillis and thinly sliced peppers and seasoned with vinegar. It had a slow burn that everyone around the table approved of.

Finally another big dish arrived -- da pan ji or literally big chicken dish. I remember having it in Urumqi -- it was a massive platter and very spicy. This one was too, and towards the end the four of us struggled to finish it -- OK three. In the spicy scale it was past my threshold, and I ended up nibbling bits of it, including the chicken feet.

The dish featured a whole chicken, chopped and simmering in a flavourful spicy sauce with potatoes and chillis. It was served with thick noodles underneath, soaking up the sauce. In the end only the "bits" were left, or the non-meaty parts that no one had the patience to eat.

The restaurant cat hanging out at the reception desk
Thank goodness I had a big glass of lassi to cool me down, while two of my male colleagues downed four Tsing Tao each!

Meanwhile the restaurant's cat -- that had a big tummy -- had his dinner too. He must have a fantastic time picking up leftovers in Ba Yi.

When the bill arrived we were shocked -- just under HK$1,200?! How could that be! The guys paid up more because of their beer consumption and so us ladies had a cheap meal.

It was suggested we come back again when the weather gets colder, but we might come back earlier because of that amazing lamb leg..

Ba Yi
G/F, 43 Water Street
Sai Ying Pun
2484 9981


  1. i am sure aunty connie would not like this place. ks

    1. The cat wanders around... not much you can do about it!