Jet-lag be damned! After being whisked in from the Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, our hosts Oleg and Sergei took us to the Uzbekistanian restaurant Chaikhona No. 1, an otherworldly choice located within the city’s Gorky Park. Although apparently a chain restaurant, you would never know as such thanks to Chaikhona No. 1’s extraordinary ambiance.
Upon arrival, we were somewhat shocked to find ourselves standing outside of a rudimentary pinewood log cabin with a large rotund teepee-style tent placed on its top. Passing through the door was like falling into Alice’s rabbit hole, albeit in Siberia. With an interior with brightly paneled with colorful tapestries, rugs, and plush pillows, the vibe somewhat reminded us of the opening sequence from "Raiders Of The Lost Ark."
After only a few compulsory shots of vodka, we soon found ourselves warming up to local customs. Naturally, the evocative restaurant offers more than just booze. Tasty pickled vegetable appetizers segue easily into heartier salads, shashlyk kebabs, or the establishment’s speciality of plov, a meat and rice dish that is easily the Uzbek equivalent of comfort food! And of course, no meal at Chaikona No. 1 is complete without some of their signature homemade bread. Don’t miss it!
Set of Drifter tip: Like to chill-out with a hookah? Pungently spicy flavors are available here, but at an elevated cost! Standard pipes will run you around 500 rubles, while a note of absinthe costs upwards of 2,000 rubles!