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Feb 9, 2007 07:02 AM

Vostok: Brooklyn Bukharian

I just posted about this on my blog. It doesn't seem to have ever been mentioned on Chowhound, so I'm copying the bulk of it here.

I was introduced to Vostok, in Boro Park on the cusp of Dyker Heights (or vice versa), by my friend Igor, who grew up in Tajikistan. Though the restaurant is not new (Igor tells me he first ate there three years ago), it is seemingly unknown to foodies of the internet, as I could find only one Citysearch user review and no mention on Chowhound. I'm happy to remedy that situation, as this restaurant is worth knowing about. Vostok is, in general, somewhat better than Taam Tov, which I liked, and much better than Kashkar, which I didn't. As with all restaurants of its ilk, Vostok is quite reasonably priced. Igor and I ordered enough food for three, and the check came out to $42 (without drinks).

The samsa, baked meat pies, were excellent, with a fresh-tasting, flaky pastry. The manty, steamed dumplings, had a similar filling to the samsa, as is generally the case. Though perhaps the filling could have used a bit more seasoning, I think Vostok's were the best I've had so far, with skins that had an appealing body and chewiness, more substantial than the ones I've tried at other restaurants.

The lagman, noodles and meat in a tangy soup, accented with star anise, was much better than the bland, greasy version I had at a post-review visit to Taam Tov. The plov, or pilaf, was also quite good. It had a bit of a nutty flavor and was considerably less greasy, and somewhat less sweet, than the Taam Tov version. The only real dud was the mixed pickles plate. Igor, who ordered that one, agreed.

The meal was capped by two kinds of kebabs: lyulya, made from spiced chopped meat, and lamb chops, which were translated on the menu, I believe, as "lamb rib steak." The lamb chops were the highlight of the dinner, though Igor tells me they've had a bolder seasoning in the past. They were plump and tender, and at $5 for a skewer of two chops a steal.

I don't know how Vostok compares to the Rego Park Bukharian restaurants, but it's good, it's cheap, and, only steps away from the D train, at 5507 13th Avenue (at 55th Street), it's convenient.

The full post with photos is at:

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  1. great report. Peter and thanks for the pix!
    what was wrong with the pickles?
    how was their bread?
    do you know what the open/closing days of this place are? specifically, is it open on Saturday?

    1. I don't know if they're open Saturday nights. We didn't try the bread. The pickles were heavily vinegar-tasting without any subtlety.

      1. Thanks Peter, this place looks really tempting. It's going on the short list.

        1. do you mean the recent post-ny times review of taam tov? sounded really good, is there locations in manhattan and borough park.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kevin

            I meant post- my original review (on the blog). I had the lagman on my second visit.

            Taam tov is in Manhattan, Vostok in Boro Park

            1. re: Peter Cherches

              This place sounds (and looks) great, especially the stew-ish item (lagman?). But—is there anything there for somebody who doesn't want to eat lamb, or would it be a waste of time to visit?

          2. aw peter you are killing me. excellent pics on your blog, that looks fantastic. perfect place for cold weather. would you have a pic of the samsa to put up too? thx.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mrnyc

              I think I remembered the camera after we ate the samsa.