You’d be hard pressed to find better lamb chops than the plump, tender Bukharan-style kebabs at Vostok, says Peter Cherches. Listed on the menu as “lamb rib steak,” they’re a highlight at this previously little-discussed place in Borough Park—and a steal at $5 for a skewer of two chops. Lyulya kebabs, made from spiced chopped meat, are almost as good.
Vostok also does well by other standards of this Central Asian cuisine, including manty (steamed meat dumplings), samsa (baked meat pies), plov (pilaf), and lagman (noodles and meat in tangy, star anise-scented soup). The mixed pickle plate is heavy-handed, overly vinegary and skippable, Peter warns.
“I don’t know how Vostok compares to the Rego Park Bukharan restaurants,” he adds, “but it’s good and cheap, somewhat better than Taam-Tov, which I liked, and much better than Cafe Kashkar, which I didn’t.”
One of the best of the bunch in Rego Park is Arzu, a go-to spot for lagman and other Central Asian chow, including many Uzbek and Uighur specialties that can’t be found elsewhere. Another smart order here is meaty, substantial Russian-style potato salad. “Most amazing,” marvels welle. Note that you have to order it in advance for a minimum of six people.
Vostok [Borough Park]
5507 13th Avenue, at 55th Street, Brooklyn
Taam-Tov [Diamond District]
46 W. 47th Street, 4th floor, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, Manhattan
Cafe Kashkar [Brighton Beach]
1141 Brighton Beach Avenue, near Brighton 14th St., Brooklyn
Cafe Arzu [Rego Park]
101-05 Queens Boulevard, at 67th Road, Rego Park, Queens