Eating at Kazakh Kyrgyz is quite an experience. The restaurant lies in the otherwise discreet Pasha boutique hotel and is accessed via a footbridge over an indoor pond. Mongolian, Turkic, Dungan (Chinese Muslim) and Slavic people, young and old, come to chat at long, low tables to eat this diverse blend of Central Asian cuisines and enjoy the belly-dancing classes, concerts, parties and special-occasion menus. Seating ranges from benches to colourful beanbags on the exotic carpet.
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan were both on the Silk Road and consequently both their cuisines incorporate influences from Russia, Turkey and China. The variety on offer is actually rather exciting, and prices are low. It’s the Central Asian specialities – plov (rice dishes), flatbreads, kebabs, stir-fries, lagman (wheat noodles) and meat or vegetable dumplings – that you may want to concentrate on.
Prices are heart-warmingly low – nothing over £12, and the Central Asian specialities all around £7 or £8. Wines are as inexpensive as the cooking (well under £20 a bottle). Come on a Friday night and you’ll probably get entertainment from musicians and a belly dancer too.