A Chinese restaurant without pork? Yes, it does exist - the Darda Seafood restaurant in Milpitas offers Chinese Islamic-style cuisine. Islam has a long history in China, and there is a large Muslim community in China today (particularly in China's northwest region). From this tradition comes the cuisine showcased at Darda.
This place is super-popular, and one almost inevitably has to wait in a long line during weekends at dinnertime. That's exactly what we did, and during our wait I found myself fascinated by this sign above the door. I wondered "What language is this? Is it Arabic? What does it mean? Are these passages from the Koran?" If anyone out there knows, kindly enlighten me.
When we finally got inside, we saw that the place was just packed with people and abuzz with activity.
Another sign caught my attention. Again, if anyone out there knows what language this is and what it means, I would appreciate it if you would kindly let me know.
We started our meal with some seafood soup. The soup was very light and refreshing and featured very fresh ingredients of shrimp, crab, squid, chicken, vegetables, and more.
Next came the lamb stew. The lamb was quite tasty and chewy, with a distinctive and pleasing aroma.
We also enjoyed mushu tofu with egg topping...
...and bread topped with sesame seeds and stuffed with a green onion filling. I particularly enjoyed this bread, because of its crunchy and chewy texture, as well as its light aroma and flavor.
It may take some patience getting a table at Darda, but it's well worth the wait.