I’m eating around the world without leaving London and this weekend I had Kazakh food at Pasha.
Pasha is actually a hotel restaurant in a not so leafy part of Camberwell, so to be absolutely honest I wasn’t expecting much. Boy was I wrong.
From the outside, Pasha is just a hotel, and to get to the restaurant you need to walk through reception into this long corridor which is lined with massage rooms (!) . It must have been a magic corridor as when we finally entered into a bright and colourful space, it felt like we had travelled through space and time into a restaurant in Astana.
Half of the tables were set on a raised platforms and surrounded by colourful cushions. No chairs. Of course we had to sit at one of those. We had to take off our shoes which we could store in sparkly boxes that also acted as stools.
It was very busy and all tables were occupied by smartly dressed people.
There was live entertainment in the shape of one lone male singer. His repertoire sounded a little bit like a medley of bad Eurovision songs, but this didn’t stop most of the punters to get up and have a little boogie. For all we knew, he was the Justin Timberlake of Kazakhstan.
While we were studying the menus, we were offered Kazakh bread and the best hummus I ‘ve ever tasted. We decided to get a couple of starters to share before choosing our mains, which we ended up sharing as well.
First we had chicken livers cooked in red wine sauce; not really my cup of tea. I much preferred the icli kofte which were fried bulgur wheat balls filled with minced meat, the grilled mixed veggies and the hachapuri which was a cheese filled flat bread.
For mains there was a grilled chicken shaslik, which was incredibly succulent. We also had a creamy moussaka, a beef stroganoff and a portion of juicy, steamed, beef manty dumplings.
We managed to finish off most of it and even had some dessert, which, contrary to the rest of our dinner, was a bit underwhelming. But we washed it down, with the help of Turkish wine and a couple of vodka shots.
At around midnight we left the restaurant and walked back through the magic tunnel and into the very English streets of Camberwell.