KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 – We may be far away from Xinjiang but you can get a taste of its cuisine at Lamb Shepherd Restaurant.
Hidden between car workshops at Desa Setapak, you know you have walked into the right place when you realise most of the diners are Chinese Muslims enjoying their daily meals here.
Find the restaurant in this area that is peppered with car workshops
The menu is a pretty sizable one that would probably take me many more visits to sample everything. What impressed me about their food is how well everything is prepared.
I appreciated how each dish wasn’t sinking in oil. Even the deep fried food wasn’t greasy at all.
You can see that much care has been taken to prepare the food. One minus is don’t expect them to recommend dishes to you, like at a typical Chinese eatery. Just order what you wish and do your own research on what’s popular.
In fact, I was spying on everyone’s tables to mentally figure out what I want to order for my next visit here.
There’s two signature lamb dishes here, namely the Poached Lamb and Roast Lamb Chops. I opted for the Poached Lamb. It’s not an Instagram friendly dish since it looks incredibly plain.
What makes up for the lack of looks is the texture of the meat, which is tender and easily comes off the bones. It’s incredibly juicy just on its own. Dip the lamb in the cumin and chilli powder served on the side. That powder gives it a mild spiciness and slight savoury taste.
The simple dish showcased how well the cooks at this restaurant prepare the food. A lot of care was taken to French the rack of lamb as excessive fat was removed and the bones were cleaned properly too. It’s RM38 for a small portion and RM65 for a regular portion.
The dumplings are well prepared here with silky skins and juicy meat fillings
I’m a big dumplings fan so that was a must order for me. These didn’t disappoint as the skins were silky and filled with juicy meat fillings. You could easily enjoy this on its own. Expect to fork out RM16 for a plate of the dumplings.
Spiced Salt Mushroom is addictive with the crunchy texture and the savoury hit from the cumin and chilli powder
Equally delicious was the Spiced Salt Mushroom (RM16). The oyster mushrooms were lightly battered and tossed in the same cumin and chilli powder that came with the lamb. Simply addictive!
For something unusual, try the Fried Yam with Fungus that is a contrast of textures with slippery Chinese yam and crunchy wood ear fungus
I was intrigued by the Fried Yam With Fungus (RM18) on the menu. It’s actually sliced Chinese yam or huai san stir fried with wood ear fungus. You get a contrast of textures with the slippery smooth yam and crunchy fungus.
For drinks, almost every table had a pot of plum syrup (RM10). It may look like a lot but you won’t have trouble finishing it. The drink is not overly sweet and refreshing. It definitely also helped one’s digestion after eating the food here. If you prefer hot tea, there’s different types of green tea, chrysanthemum, rose and eight treasure teas too.
Other dishes I am eyeing for my next visit would be their Roast Lamb Chops and the Xinjiang Big Plate Chicken which I saw another diner enjoying with hand cut noodles as a side dish.
Classic dishes are also available here like the Boiled Fish with Pickled Cabbage, Fried Chili Chicken and cold salads served with century egg, needle mushrooms, cucumber, wood ear fungus and lamb tripe.
Solo eaters can also order their noodles or rice meals. You have a variety of noodles like fried cut noodles and fried sauce noodles which are essentially zhajiangmian. There’s also fried rice with beef or rice paired with a choice of spicy chicken or comforting potatoes paired with beef. You can also order the mushroom beef rice bowl too.
On the menu, some dishes aren’t available for the weekend like the fried chilli chicken and fried dough sheet. It’s best to get here early for lunch too as the place fills up quickly once they open for business.
The place gets crowded during lunch time with a mix of diners who are locals and Chinese Muslims
As they’re open throughout the day from 11.30am and close early by 6.30pm during the weekends (7.30pm on weekdays), it may be better to come off peak times to avoid the crowd.
Do also note that the restaurant only accepts cash for payment.
Lamb Shepherd Restaurant, No.8A, Ground Floor, Jalan 4/27F, Off Jalan Genting Klang, Desa Setapak, Kuala Lumpur. Open: 11.30am to 7.30pm (Tuesday to Friday), 11.30am to 6.30pm (Saturday and Sunday). Closed on Monday. Tel:03-41318144.