Rego Park is home to so many kosher Uzbeki kebab joints that local friends and I joke that they’re all more or less the same restaurant, just with different specialties, and/or slightly surlier service. The latest entrant into the neighborhood’s crowded field of more than a dozen restaurants is a rather opulent looking establishment (think flocked Louis XIV wallpaper and chandeliers) called U Yuri Fergana.
It has pretty much the same menu as all of the other kosher Uzbek kabab palaces in the hood: skewers of beef, fatty lamb ribs, and sweetbreads along with salads and the meat pies known as samsa. In the few times I’ve been to Fergana I hardly ever order those items. Every time I come I get the same thing: a steaming bowl of lagman soup and a bottle of Borjomi sparkling water.
Think of it as Uzbekistan’s answer to Taiwanese beef noodle soup, minus the five spice. The steaming bowl brims with tender bits of beef, veggies, and of course lagman noodles. The latter are handmade noodles that bear more than a passing resemblance to the strands of la mian found in Chinese cuisine. I’m willing to bet my lucky chopsticks they are related.
Whatever the provenance of the dish I’m more than happy to slurp a bowl of it at U Yuri Fergana. The lamb ribs and fried pelmeni are also lovely, and I’ve coveted steaming platters of plov spied on other tables, but for now, at least, it’s the lagman that will keep me coming back. It’s comfort food of the highest order.
U Yuri Fergana, 94-09 63rd Dr., Rego Park, 718-830-6363