Bay Aka BBQ

276 Clayton Rd
Clayton, VIC 3168

I’ve decided to take a bit of time out to try some of my local cheap eats, and first up to the plate (hehe) is Bay Aka BBQ. Not a hard choice, given The Age has recently highlighted this little spot as a premier dining destination on Clayton Road, with lamb kebabs that are promised to hit like premium wagyu. But we’re not talking Turkish kebab here; this is a Uyghur restaurant, with bold, spicy flavours that amalgamate Chinese and Middle-Eastern. The skewers are the mainstay, but there are also a few other traditional dishes to round out the tiny home-styled menu. It’s all fresh and authentic – and don’t forget the house-made lassi for the spicier options!

Rating: 12.5/20 – amazing skewers.
Must-order: lamb skewers, duh. but also make sure you get some flatbread to go with it.

Lamb Skewers with Pita Bread and Salad ($28)

Even preceded by a rave review, the Lamb Skewers with Pita Bread and Salad ($28) exceeded expectations. The lamb was gloriously charred and smoky, yet so succulent that it really did bring to mind heavily marbled beef. The skewers are marinated overnight, so they’re already super juicy and flavoursome, but there’s the option of getting chilli powder added on top for extra oomph; but be careful – that stuff is hot! The pita also deserves a special mention: fluffy in the middle with lightly crisped edges, they were great for making mini wraps with the lamb and yoghurt sauce, but also phenomenal when eaten alone.

Chicken Stir Fry with Rice ($25)

Da Pan Ji – Big Plate Chicken – is another well-known dish from Uyghur. Usually it’s served very literally on a huge platter, and once the chicken’s been eaten, hand-pulled noodles then get added to the sauce. But if you don’t want to commit to that sort of serving size, order the Chicken Stir Fry with Rice ($25), which is a smaller serve of the same, accompanied by rice instead of noodles. This was deliciously rich, the chunks of bone-in chicken slow-cooked with a myriad of spices and vegetables, including Sichuan peppers and star anise, to give it that signature spicy warmth.

Lassi ($4)

And don’t forget their house-made Lassi ($4)! This sweet drinking yoghurt is lightly tangy, and perfect for putting out the fire, should you have asked for too much chilli powder on your skewers.

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