Kashkar Cafe


1141 Brighton Beach Avenue


Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.


Photo by René Atchison

You can thank owner Khasiyat Sabitova — whose family emigrated to New York from China by way of Uzbekistan in the 1960s — for introducing the United States to Uyghur cuisine. The boldly spiced food comes from the Turkic people whose ancestors settled across Central Asia, primarily in Xinjiang, China, an autonomous area that borders Russia and Afghanistan. Noodles and lamb, cooked in numerous ways (and often together) feature heavily at Sabitova’s Kashkar Cafe in Brighton Beach, perfumed with spices like cumin, peppercorns, and garlic. The menu splits its offerings between Uyghur and Uzbek fare, offering platters of thin-skinned dumplings called manty and juicy kebabs skewered onto steel rapiers. Acquaint yourself with lagman noodles, stir-fried with onions and peppers or served in a gamy broth with carrots. Hand pulling yields a pudgy, uneven pasta with feisty chew. Sip locally made Chersi sodas, virgin Russian bubbly that comes in flavors like bubblegum and tarragon. The restaurant's bright-orange signage stands out on its South Brooklyn thoroughfare, and inside, colorful woven curtains and hanging beads spruce up an otherwise understated room. Despite this and the occasional music video blasting on TV, service takes on a personal tone. You're reminded that above all, this is a family restaurant.