Due to a large Muslim population in western China, many Chinese restaurants cater to Muslims or cater to the general public but are run by Muslims.
A Chinese Islamic restaurant (清真菜館) can sometimes be similar to a Mandarin restaurant with the exception that there is no pork in the menu. The Chinese word for halal is "pure truth" (清真), so a Chinese Islamic restuarant is a "pure truth restaurant" that serves "pure truth" food.
In most major cities in China, there are small Islamic restaurants typicially run by migrants from Western China (i.e. Uighurs), which offer inexpensive noodle soup. These restaurants are typically decorated with Islamic motifs such as pictures of Islamic rugs and Arabic writing.
Another difference is that lamb and mutton dishes are more commonly available than in other Chinese restaurants. One common dish is the clear-broth stewed beef noodle soup (清墩牛肉湯麵).
In the US, Chinese Islamic restaurants are frequented by non-Chinese as well. Pakistanis, Arabs and Iranians are among the regular clientele.
Last updated: 04-29-2005 16:53:25