>> Tandir Rokhat | Eat the World NYC

22 May 2017

Tandir Rokhat


Central Asian cooking gets much of its character from the round clay oven called tandir, where all of its baked goods are made. The round loaves of non and baked dumplings called samsa all come from the direct heat and fire inside the oven, which is on prominent display in the front window of Sheepshead Bay Tajik restaurant Tandir Rokhat.

At another local Tajik restaurant that used to have the word in its name it was learned that "rokhat" means "enjoy," a general term found in and around the kitchen and dining table during meals.

By name only, we should get a good sense of what Tandir Rokhat is all about. Housed in a tiny space on Coney Island Avenue, there is one table for customers that want to eat immediately or do not live in the area, but most people come to grab food for take away.

A tray of samsa tandori ($3 each, below) sits right by the door, still warm from the oven and ready to be eaten. They are most certainly the star of the show, and are constantly being purchased.

The samsa and some of the other products are displayed right in front of the oven. The loaves of non are bagged and ready for purchase individually and in bulk.

A Tajik meal is incomplete without bread, and the bread has certain ways to be treated properly. Drop it on the ground, and it is wiped off and placed on a high ledge for beggars to eat. Place something besides other non on top of a loaf of non, and you will be cursed with bad luck.

The popular samsa (below) is filled with ground lamb, onions, and spices. The flaky exterior is something of a wonder, perfectly containing the ample meat without breaking, but seeming very fragile and soft.

Also fresh from the tandir are the chicken samsa ($3 each, below), which were just slightly less enjoyable than the lamb but worth the table variety.

On a specials chalkboard, but apparently available daily is lagman ($7, below), a common noodle soup eaten throughout the region. Lagman is always enjoyable in any form, while not mind-blowing here. The homemade noodles are very good, and the soup would pair fantastically with the non bread, available in quarters.

Unlike samsa, the manti ($8, below) are not available individually. A plate of five of these lamb dumplings is a must order here, but be cautious as you cut because they easily slip off the plate.

With so much meat, the fresh salad ($3, below) was needed to balance everything. They also have a Greek salad, eggplant salad, and kimchi, a popular dish in the region brought from Korean immigrants many decades ago.

Traditionally, a Tajik meal ends with plov, but there was absolutely no room left for it. Tandir Rokhat does make it though if your stomachs are large enough.

Before leaving, a glimpse of the backroom (below) offered a view of the samsa making in progress.

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Tandir Rokhat Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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