New restaurant opening in the space occupied for many years by Valentino’s on Rt. 9 North (same strip mall as Central Jersey Pools). From Yelp page:
Meet the Business Owner
Me and my partner (Umidjon) are schoolmates. Life is such an unpredictable thing. Having finished the high school in Uzbekistan we haven’t seen each other for almost 15 years. And finally we ended up meeting again in United States in 2017. All this years Umidjon has been working as a chef cook in Malta where he learned some great skills. I was a soccer journalist and coach. Last couple years have been in a car sales! Yes, car sales. With a great company DCH. So we set down and came up with a most risky idea out there: Open a restaurant!
So we tried it already, 2 weeks ago, the first weekend they were open.
We started with 2 soups, the shurva (lamb and vegetables) and the chuchvara (meat dumplings in broth). Both were very good. The dumplings were better than Shirin but the broth is better at Shirin.
We then split Bahur salad, tomato, cucumber, green apple and avocado with a lemon dressing that was excellent.
For entrees we had a lamb kabob which was very good and Tabaka (Uzbek fried chicken) which was not very good. We received a whole chicken cut up which is nice value for the money but it was greasy and not well seasoned, we didn’t eat much of it.
We skipped dessert but they sounded good and are made in house.
The owner was very nice and seemed to take our feedback (good and bad) seriously. We will return for another try because most of the food was good and it was only the first weekend they were open. I was going to wait for a second visit to post but somebody nominated me to post now.
You are tha mans!! I’m so happy to hear we have a new different restaurant. I’ve always wanted to try some Ubeki beki stan stan food. Watched a short documentary type thing and it seemed like a really wild mix of different cuisines. Apparently a whole ton of Koreans got force migrated there so there are some of my peeps influences in the cuisine also. Really fascinating. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvaoFtvSAWA
They also have a dish called Lagman which is some kind of mutant cousin of the Chinese noodle soup. (Probably came from the Chinese La Mian, so cousins with Ramen?)
Two car salesman turned restaurateurs (from Uzbekistan!?!?!) Sounds like the new Fox fall line-up!
“What do I have to do to earn your dinner business tonight? Don’t tell my manager I’m telling you this, but we just got a shipment of new 2018 chickens in the back, they are being prepped as we speak, they gotta move these 2017 chickens off the lot, they gotta go. I’ll tell you what, what do you say you take the chicken and I throw in a free appetizer…listen…listen…my buddy works over in the cold apps section, I’ll get him to throw in a couple extra shrimp on the shrimp cocktail. I still have to ring it in so it shows on the paperwork, but that normally comes with 4 shrimp so I will get you 8-no 9!!! How does that sound? You ready to order today?”
@corvette_johnny The lamb had a nice char on the outside and was very good but I didn’t get much charcoal flavor.
@joonjoon They have lagman on the menu here but we didn’t try it on our first visit. It’s also on the menu at Shirin Cafe and while it’s very good, the Mastava (which they describe as thick spicy authentic Uzbek soup with rice and minced lamb) is the best soup at Shirin.
I’ve had Lagman at a number of Uzbecki restaurants in the US, Russia, Estonia and Latvia and it’s been different in almost every one. It always has lamb, noodles and a bunch of vegetables in a meat based broth but there are wide variations in spices, types of vegetables, thin or thicker broth and type of noodle. It’s almost always good though.
Excellent! This looks like the kind of place I’d want to order everything so having a larger group seems like the perfect way to go. How about a lunch or “early” dinner (so we don’t keep @seal up too late) on a Saturday (since I work Sunday’s)?