Up in North East London, there is a small restaurant a few minutes away from the Walthamstow Central station. This restaurant, Etles Uyghur resides in the high street and should not be overlooked by spicy enthusiasts. It’s London’s first authentic Uyghur cuisine that provides original Northwest China sizzling dishes such as their most popular, Dapanji.
Translating to “Big Plate Chicken,” it’s a big sharing dish that I would recommend more than 3 people to eat. Dapanji is filled with boned chicken, potatoes, vegetables, red chillies and hand made Uyghur style noodles. Go ahead and jump right into getting it and be aware there is only two flavours: mild and spicy. I was amazed at how delicious and mouth-watering both were to be honest but I would say go right into the spicy one.
You’d be surprised that this Dapanji pictured above is not the spicier one and I think that’s because there’s a tomato paste included into it. I believe the tomato paste lessens the spice and it makes it easier for newbie spicy fans at a Sriracha level.
The spice is more prominent in the less spicier dish but it comes alive from the first pull into your taste. It has a Sichuan taste but a little milder than you’d expected. What’s perfect about this dish is that the spice is in the sauce and mixes so well with the chicken, spice and noodles. So you know you’re getting a good meal.
What I love about this restaurant is that Etles Uyghur has a range of spicy dishes to accommodate Danpanji.
Firstly, me and my colleagues settled on the lamb skewers. They were tender and perfectly seasoned. I could have had two more to myself as one is not enough to describe how delicious this was.
The stir-fried potatoes took me by surprise. It’s packed with a lot chillies all over as well as chilli oil on them. Honestly, more than the Danpanji, this was hotter and was about a Sichuan level of taste.
The Turgur dumplings are more spicy for the sauce that comes with it and I’d recommend getting the vegetable choice as it tastes better.
I’ve been told the Liang Fen is delicious so when the lockdown eases up, I would love to try that side dish next time as well. I’ve heard nothing but good things about that it.
Etles Uyghur is a valuable jewel that London should not pass by. When people crave spice, they usually go for the obvious areas and look to Central London. Just once, Dapanji should be one of the spicy dishes that you should tick off your list and it’s worth trekking to the end of the Victoria Line for the great taste, trust me!