Cupola Vostoka is like one of the Russian Supper clubs in Brighton Beach, but it's Uzbeki, and it's in Flushing (though out-of-the-way Flushing). It was a real surprise that on Sunday night there wasn't a seat in the house. They were celebrating some Uzbeki Jewish couple's 40th wedding anniversary and it was loud with international dance tunes and even a floor show around 10 p.m. with two couples that were quite amazing. I was told one was the U.S. Ballroom dance champions - Russians. The food and the people all seemed Uzbeki and they told me it's Bukhara cuisine.
Now for the food. I was disappointed with the lamb dishes. They were way too gamey (is that the word?) for me. I usually have no trouble with lamb or goat, but my borshch and the ground lamb kabobs were way too strongly flavored for me. The boiled potatoes were OK and the dessert pastries were so-so. But the rest is good news. I would try anything chicken and all things mushroom there. We had chicken shashlik that was to die for, and the mushroom soup was full of taste, and mushrooms. We ordered a beet salad that came with a bit of sliced almonds, very good. We ordered fried eggplant, which looked a great deal more like zucchini but was flavorful nonetheless. We got some French fries with garlic and parsley, what they call Papas a la provençal at Argentine restaurants, which were also very good. The lamb chunk kabobs (or shashlik) were much better than the ground lamb ones. I also saw some very mouth-watering chicken entrees (we didn't get to the entree menu) and the manti, I believe, also looked good.
Service is quite friendly and English-speaking, even with a million Uzbekis and our one little table of Indian/American eaters. The prices are quite good, kabobs and sides are a couple of dollars. Our bill came to $80 for four people, but there was some vodka involved and more kabobs than we knew what to do with. It's also Shomer Shabbat kosher.
Address: 157-09 72nd Ave between Kissena and Parsons.
(718) 969-8136 / 718-591-8136
They are open during the day and during the week without a band, but I'm not sure of the hours. It was a bit too noisy to interview the owner more extensively that night, and there are no take-out menus, though my friends got kabobs to go one day. I'm definitely going back another day to eat more chicken and try some of the other things on the fairly extensive menu.
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