July 5, 2009 by dark locks
Andrew came to town for 4 short nights and one of the first places we went to was Brighton Beach in search of Kazakh food (he’s leaving for KZ in August). We didn’t find anything but Andrew did find this fantastic Uyghur place called Cafe Kashkar at 1141 Brighton Beach Avenue. I posted some pictures of the manty and the Borjomi water below but I had to start with this picture of the churchkhela we got at Brighton Beach Bazaar. It was walnuts sewn together and then dipped in reduced grape juice until it takes on this sausage shape. I had one only once before when I was in Sevastopol, Ukraine.
Here is it dangling on the B train.
The next day we went to Nyonya at 194 Grand Street in Manhattan because Joyce had recommended it. It was phenomenal. The Hainanese chicken, served at room temperature, was very tasty.
On the menu, there were many things listed with the warning “Please ask your server for advice before you order!” We ordered the Nyonya rojak, “Nyonya famous fruit salad served w. squid shrimp paste sauce, sesame seed, peanut” (without a warning) and our server tried to talk us out of it saying it was really too fishy for us. I convinced him that we really did want it and that we liked fishy things and he gave in finally. It turned out to be a jicama, cucumber, and pineapple salad coated in a black, squid-shrimp paste. It truly was very fishy, especially for my white American palate, and we wound up finishing it all out of pride.
Back in Brighton Beach I was shocked to find that Vyerka Serdyuchka is coming to Brooklyn. HAHAHAAH. She is a drag queen from Ukraine who has found incredible mainstream success in former USSR countries. When I taught in an elementary school in rural Ukraine, the 5th grade straight boys would hum her songs in class. She was always the star on TV Christmas specials. Let me see if I can find something good on Youtube.
Here’s a video of her speaking English. I love her.
Borjomi water from Georgia
Here’s the Borjomi water I got at cafe Kashkar. It is my favorite mineral water that is from the glaciers at the top of the Bakuriani mountains in Georgia. Delicious, melting glaciers.
lamb manty with celery
I couldn’t figure out what was on top of the manty. Andrew took one bite and immediately recognized it as celery leaves. I’m going to miss that guy.