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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Diminutive Dastarkhan

MTOrange chiffon curtains divide the space at Skazochny Dastarkhan.
Skazochny Dastarkhan is the kind of place that expats tend to love. It's democratic, inexpensive and serves what amounts to the local equivalent of your neighborhood Chinese back home -- Uzbek food. What's more, it must be one of Moscow's smallest restaurants, as it provides just a handful of tables squeezed into a diminutive room tucked away under a flight of stairs leading down from Ulitsa Novy Arbat. The interior design is appropriately Eastern, with a crimson color scheme and orange chiffon curtains separating the tables to provide some privacy.

The menu offers no surprises, listing just what you would expect to find in a small Uzbek eatery. Besides a limited selection of European dishes, there is a good range of all the Uzbek favorites, plus a few more unusual Eastern dishes.

Smoked kazi horse meat can be ordered separately (300 rubles) or as part of the Assorti Timurkhana mixed meat plate (500 rubles), which also includes beef tongue, smoked chicken breast and beef. Samsa varieties include lamb (150 rubles) and brynza cheese and herbs (130 rubles). Chebureki come with lamb (150 rubles) or potato (120 rubles). A solid rendition of the classic Uzbek noodle soup lagman goes for 280 rubles, and chuchvara soup with handmade lamb dumplings served in bouillon costs 280 rubles.

Naturally, the shashlik selection is extensive, ranging in price from 200 rubles for chicken up to 450 rubles for sturgeon. A large assorted shashlik selection costs 1,600 rubles.

Manti lamb-filled dumplings go for 250 rubles, while Uzbekistan's national dish, plov -- the restaurant's house specialty -- sells for 300 rubles.

Draft beer prices start at 110 rubles for Sibirskaya Korona.

Overall, while this cute cafe wouldn't be worth a trip across town, it does provide a handy hideaway just a few steps down from busy Novy Arbat.
13 Ul. Novy Arbat, 290-6156, noon-midnight, M. Arbatskaya.