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May 20, 2009 04:11 AM

Russian / Uzbek Shirin Cafe Manalapan NJ

Stopped in here for take out last week.
It is a cozy cafe.
They do serve lunch and dinner.
It is located in the Design Center on Rt 9 across from Konbu.

This was is wonderful local surprise!
Keep in mind, everything was made to order, I only did some quick bites, not a full meal, and it did take about 20 minutes for the food to be ready.

Ordered a few items for take out
Fried Chuchvara - These are very small, meat filled, delicious morsels.
Almost like a fried tortellini.

Samsa with Pumpkin - Amazing! Puffed Pastry stuffed with pumpkin, maybe a hint of cumin spice, not sure.

Hachapuri - Amazing! Puffed Pastry with a goat cheese like flavor and greens. Wonderful!

If you have ever eaten a Russian dinner feast, you know that the food is good, they never stop bringing more food, BYOB means Vodka, and the presentation is impeccable.
They have the option at this restaurant for private parties as well but seems to be a much quieter and cozy option then the other Russian choices in the area.
The hosts here were wonderful and helpful!

In my opinion worth checking out!

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  1. Sounds good. Have not been aware of any local Russian places since Everest in Red Bank closed years ago.

    How does BYOB mean Vodka?

    1. Shabby, because of your glowing review of Shirin, my husband and I wnet yesterday! All I can say say, is THANKS SO MUCH!! Was this place great or what! We ordered for an appetizer to share the boiled Chuchvara (which are dumplins) 12 little pieces that will met in your mouth. You will tatse all the fresh dill and delicious scallions! It was a keeper!

      For lunch I had a the skewer of lamsb shish kebab and my husband had the pork shish kabab. It was marinated in such a great mariande and served over delcious sweet onions and came with sliced, lightly fried potatoes.

      They make everything to order, so be prepared for some of the most incredible food. We are looking to going baback over the weekend with some friends.

      Oue waitress, Svetlana was great, too. Paced everything, very sweet, and explained anything we may have not known.

      Also, we ordered their bread. SO good! Almost tatse like the Greek Easter bread minus the 4 sticks of butter (hee hee)


      So, listen to shabby the place is really worth it! I am definately going back!

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. You're kind. No worries.
          Check out the food, it is good.

        2. So, I went AGAIN on Thursday night with my husband and I tell you, the place is such a huge hit in our book! This time we tried a lot of things (so many, we had dinner again last night from all the leftovers!!)

          We had the Armenian salad to tasty and fresh herbs, which I find those herbs in every dish!! Uzbek bread...WOW, taste great! Then we had pirogis, samsa with meat (like a puff pastry oozing with falvor), an order of their delish boiled dumplings, a lamb shish kebab again, because it was just SO good last time, and an order of manti.

          Our server was Svetlana again and she was so delighted to see us back! She really is helpful with the menu if you are not sure. I recently told my neighbors, who never had Russian or Uzbek food, so I told them many things were similar to Greek restaurants (which they love!) they went last week and were amazed at how great eveything was!!

          I just really hope this place makes it. It truely is like someone's grandmother cooking everything to order. Give it a try...I promise you will love it!! We are taking my in laws next week!

          Thanks again, shabby!!!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Angelina

            Oh yes...for all this it came to with tax, not tip $50.00. Like I said, we had dinner again form all this food last night...yum!

            1. re: Angelina

              One thing I just noticed (Duh...) about the online menu is that every menu entry is hyperlinked to a photo of that dish. More establishments ought to make that effort...

            2. re: Angelina

              Glad you are happy -
              Happy to share!

            3. we went to this place last night for dinner.

              I have to say, this has to be NJ's most hidden gem.

              It was one of the best meals we had in a WHILE. We ordered tons of food, as I like to sample a little bit when going to new places like this.

              Started with the bread. - Awesome.

              Then ordered 2 apps, Chuchvara (Dumplings) ( 12pc.)....boiled.
              and Hachapuri (puff pastry with three cheeses and greens)

              our mains were
              Quail with meat $13.95
              two lamb stuffed birds prepared on the charcoal

              and Chicken Shish for my fiance

              My quail was perfect. nice and toasted on the outside, juicy on the inside, fiance said even for simple chicken shish it was one of the best she's had.

              Then, they showed us desserts, We ordered 2. Honey cake, and Pecan cake and coffee.

              I have to say, we could of ordered only half of that food and it still be too much, and the price was 58$.

              Service was impeccable, seems like a husband/wife team. We spent a good 2 hours there, as it seems everything is definitely made to order, this is a plus for me, but if you are in a quick hurry, it's something to take into consideration.

              I have to say it's my second favorite restaurant, food wise, in NJ, second to Nicholas. Really.

              2 Replies
              1. re: RPMcMurphy

                Hidden gem? I'm not so sure (the hidden part, that is). I also went last night for dinner. I got there about 6pm, and there were like a dozen people waiting out in the parking lot to be seated. As I was by myself I really did not want to occupy a table when the place was that busy, so I ended up going to Oasis down in Freehold. Will have to get back to Shirin during the week sometime...

                1. re: equal_Mark

                  Ah, you had some bad timing is all. We got there at 7:30 I think, and they were re-arranging the tables and said a large party booked the whole restaurant and JUST left...just had to wait 2 minutes for them to arrange the tables back, then it was just the two of us until we left, no other customers until we left at 9:30ish.