NYC’s Silk Road: BEST Uzbek Food in New York City? Central Asian Food in NYC


So when you walk down the streets, you
could smell the grilled meats the kabobs That’s one of the many delicious dishes
we’re gonna show you in this video So in this video we will take you to Central
Asia in New York City We’re here in Rego Park Queens which has
a large Bukharan community, so we have a lot of Uzbek restaurants
here and this is a Bukharan Jewish community, so the food here is Kosher.
Don’t come here on a Friday night or mostly Saturday, it will be closed for
Shabbat. We are at Cheburechnaya to eat some Uzbek food. We got our wine because it’s BYOB. That’s what we love about these Uzbek spots here in Queens and pretty much around the city. They’re all BYOB You see people coming through here they
don’t play around they come through with the big bottles of vodka and just drink
all night. I love it this is like it’s always a party in these places. We got
what this place is known for its chebureki. So this place is called Cheburechnaya. So there’s actually a logo of a chebureki on
the sign outside. Pretty cool. So it’s a pastry that’s fried as you can see
it’s very crispy We got one that’s the special chebureki
which has lamb in it we also have chebureki with meat. We don’t know
which meat, we’re gonna have to figure that out. Let’s get in here. Nice crispy outside. It takes a while to get
to the filling. The filling is really concentrated at the bottom. Definitely
like lamb. Juicy – you can literally see the juices coming out of this.
One thing about this ground lamb it’s very juicy, has onions and even
better it has dill. You know we love dill. Dill an essential ingredient in Uzbek
cooking so you’re gonna see it quite often Alright so we got here is samcy aka samsa.
We have another baked pastry here It’s called goshtgizhda. So goshtgizhda
has a similar filling to the others. It has chopped lamb, onions.
I see cumin seeds excited already but the shell is much lighter it’s not flaky.
It’s a very light shell it’s also covered in sesame seeds and black sesame seeds.
Let’s take a bite. That’s a cumin heavy filling right there.
Very juicy and what’s nice is the shell is pretty sturdy so it soaks up all
those juices from the lamb. Oh. Very tasty Alright so I just love how they serve
these kabobs on these sword-like skewers Look at it, it’s sharp about to stab the
camera right now haha. But they also just dress them very simply with some raw
red onion on top. Well we got more coming yes (wooo).
Let’s try this veal liver. It looks so good Wow it’s so juicy. You see the juice all
over the plate. They just put a little salt on there. The liver flavor that’s not
very strong. If you are on the fence about liver try this this might change
your mind Wow. And there’s even little pieces of
fat in between on the skewer too for extra flavor. Amazing. We got veal hearts. We love hearts. Let’s give this one a try. Cooked perfectly. Again very lightly seasoned just with some
salt. The lamb ribs I love they keep it the bone-in. They asked if we want the fat.
Fat is good for you, right? Unlike the others, they actually season
this lamb rib I’m wondering if it’s because to lighten up
the gameyness of the lamb meat. Wow. It’s really good. You get to gnaw on all the
cartilage all the pieces by the bone. That’s what you want – all the good stuff No meat gets left behind Alright time for the sweetbreads.
No, this ain’t sweet bread with sugar on it. This is the meats this is a neck
gland. It’s actually the first offal I ever eat when I was a kid at Greek
Easter It’s tender got a very unique texture
and taste to it Wow. It’s pretty lean. It’s hard to
describe, but you just gotta give sweetbreads a shot. If you see it on the menu, order it Look at this. I got the balls to eat this
one. Yep, balls. It’s lamb testicles. I’ve eaten these many a time. Let’s try
it out It’s a much softer meat. The meat is actually pretty spongy. Not in a bad way. Kind of a
spongy texture to it. It’s interesting. I think the flavors of the others are better,
but always drawn to have at least one of these every time we come here
Good flavor though eaten it many times, they’re good. We got desserts! So what’s cool. Baklava you might
associate a lot with Greek, Middle Eastern like Turkey Lebanon, right? But
Uzbek restaurants also sell baklava. So they have a walnut baklava, but we had
to get the green baklava because it has the pistachios in it. I’ve never seen one that’s
so green like this. Look how green that color is. It’s so different Very different. It’s really not too sweet. If you’re one of those people who think baklava is way too sweet this is not one of them Definitely taste the pistachio. Very light And another Uzbek place of course
we’re gonna get Uzbek food. This place is so cool.
The tandoor is actively currently on fire right now You see? Only samsa This will be some very warming
comforting food. Very excited Alight so first up we got the plov,
which is often considered the national dish of Uzbekistan. So it’s a very soulful
dish so you have all the rice here and it’s actually a bit crunchy the rice.
The rice you have the meat, which is lamb in this case. You have strips of carrots. You have
cumin seeds. Cumin seeds everywhere – very excited for that. Garlic cloves here
which is really interesting. And they even have a quail egg. Excited to get into
this very warming comforting food right now. Let’s go. So you have some bits of the rice that
are little crunchier and you also have some that are more moist from the
broth and from the meat lamb fat in there. You have the chickpeas. You have the
carrots for a little sweetness and you have those cumin seeds. It’s not too much
cumin seeds but there are some here. Take a bite with that rich quail egg. Get that luscious lamb fat and then you pair that with the quail egg. It’s very very
rich right there. So cool thing with the plov think of pilaf so it’s another one of
these Silk Road dishes that is in numerous countries including Uzbekistan. So it’s cool to see the different Silk Road connections of the foods here. And that’s gonna lead us right into our next
dish too. Alright so leading into the next one we
have the lagman. Another popular Uzbek dish here. So it’s a soup with hand-pulled
noodles that are slightly thick. They’re not wide but just lightly thick and
chewy and it has chunks of beef in there. It’s a tomato-based broth a lot of
different vegetables you have long beans peppers tomato onion a little celery in
there and sliced garlic. It looks really good. I also see a lot of dill. So let’s take a sip and bite. Very nice broth with that tomatoey flavor. That dill is what hits. Now let’s try some of the noodles Slight chew to them. Nice little bounce
to them. I love the texture of these. They go so well with the broth let’s try it with a piece of beef. Beef is pretty nice and tender. This is a perfect dish for a day like
today. It’s a cold one. They also give you a piece of the leposhka bread. It’s cooked fresh in the tandoor right here and it’s nice to give it so you can dip it right in that broth We like that the bread has a really
crispy bottom to it that’s because it’s stuck onto the wall of the tandoor. Alright so we got the star of the show
here It’s the samsa. So what’s funny when you
walk in here, you see there’s some samsa here at the counter. But we
ordered it and about 15 minutes later he gave us two fresh ones. So they came fresh out of that tandoor oven that was just flaming minutes earlier. Bottom of it is
really crispy you could see because it was sitting on the wall of that tandoor oven.
So let’s see, let’s take a look inside of the filling. I see lamb, chunks of
lamb, there’s onion black pepper and we see cumin seeds. You know our eyes light up when we see cumin, right? Yes! Really rich lamb flavor.
Decent amount cumin seeds with slight saltiness onion. That outside, the skin
of it is really thin so it’s not like the flakier versions that you might see.
This is more it’s lighter it feels lighter. It’s really good, really fresh.
Definitely recommend these samsa. On the side they also give you a red sauce.
Let’s put some on the samsa. Let’s give it a shot. Sauce has a tomato flavor little vinegar a slight spiciness to it. I see a couple seeds in there. It’s nice it does add – cuts
through the richness a little bit when you add it with that acidic flavor. It’s good.
One of the things that we really wanted to get when we got here they said they ran
out of it but… But, it’s here! Got a whole batch of them fresh. So excited. It’s called bechak. So what it is is a samsa that’s stuffed with pumpkin Vegetarians out there watching – yes there
is an option for you. We’ve eaten a lot of meat, but here’s your option right here. It’s a
delicious option. Shape is more triangular shape.It’s topped
with sesame seeds. So let’s take a bite The fillings already dripping out of it. Oh that’s good. Got a real sweetness to it. I like that. Very earthy. It’s got some onions as well. All of these have onions in them. A really nice sweet flavor you don’t expect that at first Wow. It’s really good. Change of pace completely What a surprise we have in here. We were about to leave the place. We were done
with our food and what and the owner (I think) stopped Greg and told him to sit down because in three minutes, there’s fresh samsa coming out of the tandoor. That is so cool! We’re here at Taste of Samarkand.
Samarkand is a city in Uzbekistan and of the oldest cities in the world.
Beautiful place that we really want to go someday. It’s so pretty in here and I can’t wait to eat. Their waitstaff is dressed in
traditional clothes. Alright, so we’re starting off with a Korean mixed vegetable platter, which is really interesting because there is a Korean
community over the years in Central Asia and Russia. So that’s why we have this
influence. So you will see the cabbage here it’s kind of like a kimchi.
We have beets. And we also have morkovcha, which is a spicy carrot
salad. So we’re gonna try all these out. Excited. Let’s try some of this morkovcha first. It’s very crisp. You have a lot of
herbs in here it’s got a little oil slick on there a little tangy yeah
very tasty Now let’s try cabbage. Smells a little like
kimchi, but not as funky. Oh it’s got a kick. So it doesn’t
really have that fishy kimchi flavor. It’s not as fermented taste but
it has a nice kick to it. It’s still pickled. It was nice it is definitely different than
kimchi might be used to, but quite tasty nonetheless. Now let’s try the beets. The beets are nice and crisp. Little
tangy and slight sweetness to them too. Also good. This is definitely a plate if you
wanna get your veggies in, vegetarians, this is your dish. We also got a traditional Uzbek soup
called shurpa. So it has beef, a lot of different vegetables in here. There’s
potato there’s carrots there is chickpeas and there’s a lot of dill in
here, which we’re really excited about. It’s a cold day outside. Let’s try some of this. That dill really shines through right away. The beef looks very tender I was able just
cut it with a spoon The broth’s pretty simple. It’s not a heavy broth, not overly beefy. So it really lets the actual ingredients
like the vegetables and the beef shine And that dill that dill is really the
star of the soup. Yes, so a beautiful thing about Uzbek cuisine is that they do have the manti, which are dumplings you can find manti also in Turkey, Afghanistan and other
countries in the Middle East and Central Asia. So let’s give their as a shot. Theirs is filled with beef lamb onions and it’s
also topped with dill which we’re also happy about. I see so much dill here this is
great. There’s a mixture of beef and lamb, but you definitely get more of that lamb flavor.
It’s a stronger flavor. And the skin of it is quite delicate. But love the dill
once again. If you’re a big fan of dill like we are you will love it. There’s a little bit of
a sauce on top too. Really nice. This place is also BYOB. you

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