Silk Road Choyhona: A Culinary Dive into Uzbekistan

Silk+Road+Choyhona

Silk Road Choyhona

Silk Road Choyhona
Silk Road Choyhona

 

 

The Silk Road, located next to Giant on Quince Orchard Drive, is a plain looking restaurant compared to the ones normally found throughout town. What this restaurant lacks in reputation and flashiness, it makes up in a comfortably pleasant environment that invites explorers that are interested in new flavors.

 

There are no flashing lights, no “open” signs, no banners attempting to convince would be customers to dine in. In fact, there seems to be a strict lack of these aspects; the most notable characteristic of the restaurant are the curtains that block the windows from incoming light. It’s almost as if the restaurant were emitting the feeling you’d get from entering a home.

 

Upon entering there is an immediate transformation of atmosphere; the interior presents décor that welcomes a relaxing vibe and resembles a Middle Eastern tea house. The Silk Road presents itself as a nice dine in restaurant. The guests are served tea while they wait to order.

 

The most popular and notable dishes served here include the national dish of Uzbekistan: Plov or “pilaf”, Crispy Manti, Chuchvara, and Meat Samsa.

 

The pilaf is a sweet and savory rice dish, steamed in meat broth and served with lamb, whole roasted garlic, and carrots. It had a fragrance to it that permeated the bag even before opening it. The sweet taste may be from the boiled carrots or perhaps even dried fruit; this is not unusual in Middle Eastern pilaf. The lamb pieces are tender and fall apart in your mouth. Despite its tenderness the lamb left the mouth dry and craving for some sort of fat.

 

The Crispy “Meat” Manti are four steamed meat dumplings that are then pan fried and served with a seasoned tomato sauce that resembles gazpacho, a cold tomato based soup. The Manti’s crust was crispy but yielded an oily bottom that calls for a need to hold it with napkins or eat it with utensils.

 

Nevertheless this should not detract customers from its amazing flavor. The filling proved to be full of flavorful, juicy lamb and is complemented by the sauce that is provided.

 

The next dish, Chuchvara, is a plate of steamed meat filled dumplings similar to Russian Pelmeni or Chinese Wontons. These are served with sour cream on the side and garnished with dill. The small dumplings had the looks and texture reminiscent of store bought dumplings found in the LOTTE supermarket with a taste to match. The dumpling skin is sticky as if it had been frozen and reheated, and the filling lacked the unique homemade seasoning that the rest of the dishes had.

 

The final dish is an oven baked pastry filled with meat and onions. The entrée is served on its own in a single container and is presented as is. The crust is flaky like a dessert with an appealing golden brown color. Unfortunately, the filling is surprisingly dry and leaves much to be desired in terms of seasonings. This dish goes well with the tomato sauce that comes with the Manti.

 

Overall the restaurant has a very comfortable ambience that seems plain on the outside but can provide a very satisfying and enjoyable experience for those who decide to dine in. The dishes served are not exactly gourmet, but it is good food for large groups of people that are interested in a new experience with foreign cuisine.