How ’bout a little suzma on your salad?
Today Counter Culture skates in to Nargis Cafe, a jewel in Coney Island Avenue’s culinary crown, and just about the only Uzbek restaurant in town where you can sashay in and be seated at peak hours–without being a banquet, that is. The fare hits all the Silk Road high points, from charcoal kebabs, to huge manti dumplings, to composed salads. Here are five favorite dishes.
5. Scallions, Cucumber, Radish, and Herb Salad (top of page) — Crunchy with radishes and cucumbers, with an over-the-top herb component that makes dill and scallions the center of attention, this delightful salad is dressed with suzma, a sour-milk dressing that works better on greens than buttermilk.
4. Sea Bass Kebabs — Chunks of fatty fish get way smoky over charcoal, and pungent sliced onions are the perfect foil.
3. Khonim — Steamed in a Chinese steamer, this free-form lasagna layers potatoes and onions between its noodles to make a starchy vegetarian delight. Spoon on the whipped sour cream!
2. Tashkent Salad — Named after Uzbekistan’s capital, this salad of shredded lamb and daikon is dressed with mayonnaise and topped with fried onion rings. Delish!
Next: Our number 1 fave
1. Crispy Manti — These fist-size dumplings have been fried on one side like Chinese pot stickers and are filled with a mellow amalgam of lamb and onions. (Most Uzbek spots will only steam them, which is not quite as good.) This could be your entire meal.
My dining posse one evening at Nargis
Nargis Cafe hops late into the evening on Coney Island Avenue.
2818 Coney Island Avenue