Thus, you start with Turkish-style grape leaves and proceed to Chinese-inspired
The geographically diverse chow likely made its way onto Uzbeki tables thanks to the country's location on the Silk Road, says 32-year-old Furkat Fayziev, who with his family runs this ornate 130-seater. The restaurant is a gateway to Sunny Isles Beach, which these days is home to many Eastern Europeans. This latest version of Chayhana opened in 2012 after its former landlord refused to renew a lease at a nearby hotel, Fayziev says.
The family embraced the move. The restaurant today is guarded by heavy wooden doors intricately carved in the style of an Orthodox church. Enter and you'll find ornate, sparkling archways lining the walls. There are also mosaic landscapes of medieval life. Each table is covered by two tablecloths, one glittering gold and the other a
In spite of the opulence, the food is supremely comforting. Matriarch Kamila Fayzieva cooked many of the recipes before and after the family left Uzbekistan for America in 2003. The kitchen is run by Muzaffar Hudaybergenov, a 26-year-old cook the family brought over from Tashkent. Together they offer an extensive lineup of dishes that feel familiar even if you've never tried one. They're humble enough to eat throughout the week.
Most meals start with a poppy-seed-flecked round of bread called
At lunch, the appetizer called
That same hearty, fragrant lamb mixture can be found throughout the menu. It's slid onto flat metal spears, grilled over charcoal, and served with translucent red onion curls. It's also tucked into the
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More of Eastern Europe is found in
Things wrap up with a slice of honey cake assertively spiced with ginger and layered with sweet cream. This slightly sugary dessert marks the end of a meal substantial enough to
250 Sunny Isles Blvd., Sunny Isles Beach; 305-917-1133; Sunday through Thursday noon to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday noon to midnight.
Beef tongue $9.50
Eastern salad $9.95
Lula kebab $12.95
Kovurma lagman $12.95