Thanks for the tip, @Souperman! Central Asian food, not including Afghanistan food, is hard to come by in the Bay Area, so I was excited to try it. Other places that come to mind are some dishes at Baltica in San Mateo, Eurasia in Oakland, and Uyghur restaurants Uyghur Taamliri in SF and Eden Silk Road Cuisine in Fremont.
The owner of Silk Road, and workers, are from Kyrgyzstan and they were busy enough I didn’t get the full story of how they came to open a Central Asian place on the 2nd floor of a mall.
Entrees and sides are served from steamer trays, and baked goods are in display cases. Everything looked fresh when I stopped by for recon near closing, and at lunchtime when I ate there. They’re still finding out what works best, and plan to make their own noodles, hand-stretched lagman, once they find their groove.
I recently cooked a recipe for Xinjiang-style laghman sauce from Beyond the Great Wall, so I was excited to compare it to Silk Road’s version. Their lagman sauce is currently available with spaghetti, or I suppose mashed potatoes or plov (a pilaf) if you prefer. I just asked for a sample. Meat, garlic, onion, bell peppers, and tomatoes were common between their and Beyond the Great Wall’s versions, and those ingredients also appear in local Chinese and Uyghur restaurants the serve lagman, Silk Road’s version also has celery, which is used sparingly and brings a rounded, herbal quality to the sauce. Some spicing beyond black pepper added to the complexity, but I’m not sure what else they used.
The plov, a pilaf, was great. Lots of tender carrots, subtle amount of cumin, and not too sweet. It benefited from some acidity, so make sure to ask for some tomato and onion salad.
Steamed beef dumplings have chopped (not ground) pieces of beef, onion, and a whallop of black pepper. The bottoms have cracks, and the top creases got hard, but it’s an enjoyable enough dumpling that I went back for seconds.
Their samsas, which are made with a flaky dough, and the piroshki, which are made with a yeast dough and glazed with egg, are re-heated in the microwave by default, or in the oven by request if you’ve got a few minutes to spare. I preferred the chicken samsa to the beef piroshki, whose filling was ground into too much of a paste for my liking.
Central Asian lamb and potatoes was simple and hearty, and that description applies to much of their menu.
They make the desserts in house. The napoleon was lightly filled with a custard, and the layers of soft and crumbly dough made it easier to eat than a more crispy, European?, style napoleon.
Stonestown has some interesting options. There’s a lot of stuff at the Sunday Farmer’s Market, including Shandong Pan Fried Dumplings at Happy Dumpling. I didn’t like Love Berry’s dole whip, but I’ll note its existence for fans of the drink (see also Pineapples at 296 Ocean Ave).