Noodle on This: Caravan Uyghur Cuisine Is Back in the Neighborhood

02/26/2024 in
Noodle on This: Caravan Uyghur Cuisine Is Back in the Neighborhood

Manhattan got its first Uyghur restaurant in 2020 when owner Abdul Ahad Ababakri opened Caravan Uyghur Cuisine on Pearl Street, serving up delectable Central Asian noodle dishes (among others) that our former Explorer in Chief Josh Katz said “strike the perfect balance between exotic spice profiles and hearty comfort food.” Sadly, Caravan had to leave that space in 2022, but they’ve returned to Lower Manhattan with a new location at 60 Beaver St.

Eater stopped by Caravan recently and happily reported that the noodles still hold up to Josh’s estimation:

In 2020, Eater’s critic estimated there were about a dozen Uyghur restaurants in the city, the most famous of them being Kashkar Cafe in Brighton Beach. Unless you’ve been to one of them, you haven’t had noodles like these. The restaurant makes the noodles by hand, then cuts them into different shapes. There are stir-fried noodles, as wide as worms, and thinner lagman noodles, cooked separately from their sauce. The diced-fried noodles are shaped like small corn kernels, and the wide ones in the “big tray chicken” are as flat as ribbons.”

The noodles have to be hand-pulled each morning. Why? “If the noodle isn’t good, the food is nothing,” Bakri says in Uyghur.

Hear, hear. Other dishes of note include Uyghur naan, which Eater says is denser and more porous than Southeast Asian naan, and a special lamb soup that Bakri swears has healing powers. Just what we need this winter! 

Caravan is open seven days a week; the website is not yet up-and-running, but hours are Monday through Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. You can dine in or grab takeout, though note delivery is not yet available. 

Tags: caravan, uyghur

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