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Jibek Jolu - Kyrgyz Cuisine

Jibek Jolu - Kyrgyz Cuisine
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  • Jibek Jolu - Kyrgyz Cuisine

    Post #1 - December 20th, 2009, 12:31 am
    Post #1 - December 20th, 2009, 12:31 am Post #1 - December 20th, 2009, 12:31 am
    Jibek Jolu is pioneering Kyrgyz cuisine in Chicago. At least to my knowledge.

    The name is Kyrgyz for Silk Road. I've been hoping for a Central Asian place for awhile now. Can't wait to try it.

    Jibek Jolu
    5047 N. Lincoln
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-878-8494

    Moved from Openings and Closings, Comings and Goings
  • Post #2 - December 20th, 2009, 5:16 am
    Post #2 - December 20th, 2009, 5:16 am Post #2 - December 20th, 2009, 5:16 am
    Ryan,

    JIbek Jolu looks an interesting place, you had me at Central Asian. High on my list of must visits, thanks for posting the heads-up.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - December 21st, 2009, 5:51 am
    Post #3 - December 21st, 2009, 5:51 am Post #3 - December 21st, 2009, 5:51 am
    I believe this is the first of it's kind in Chicago proper (Central Asian). So awesome. Can't wait to try it.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #4 - December 21st, 2009, 6:50 am
    Post #4 - December 21st, 2009, 6:50 am Post #4 - December 21st, 2009, 6:50 am
    ryanwc wrote:I've been hoping for a Central Asian place for awhile now. Can't wait to try it.



    I assume that you know about Chaihanna, a GNR serving primarily Uzbek cuisine. And the owners of Russian Tea Time are from Uzbekistan (if not ethnic Uzbeks) and the menu is sort of pan-FSU, including Central Asian dishes. (An over-quick perusal of the dinner entrees yielded Uzbek Vegetarian "Layer" Stew ‑ Domlama, Uzbek Mung Bean Stew -- Mashkitchiri, and Uzbek Chick Pea Stew -- Nukhat.) Good luck!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #5 - December 21st, 2009, 9:33 am
    Post #5 - December 21st, 2009, 9:33 am Post #5 - December 21st, 2009, 9:33 am
    Not really knowing what to expect, I was surprised to find Jibek Jolu filled with apparently Kyrgyz people, as I didn't know there was a community here, and also surprised to realize that Kyrgyz people look more like east asians than, say, Afghans. Just my innocence, but probably there are others who won't have known that either.

    Steaming tea came quickly and took the bite off the evening's cold as we looked at the menus. The service was prompt and friendly. We each ordered something that wasn't available, and our server apologized that they hadn't known how many people to expect in their first weekend, so they'd run out of some things. I ordered chuchvara (forgive all my spellings here.), a hearty soup crowded with beef dumplings and flavorful with dill and a bit of sour cream. The server brought basket of a low bread that I think of as Asian based only on my Kabul House experiences, and I dunked it happily in my broth.

    The gf got a Korean carrot salad, which was good. She followed with Manty, which turned out to be dumplings similar to those in my soup. The menu mentioned pumpkin here, but we didn't find any. It came with more shredded carrot, so I wonder if that was substituted for the missing pumpkin. My entree was the lagnan, an excellent stew of lamb and vegetables including 'decant' over noodles just thick enough that they actually stick in your fork so you don't have to spool them. I'm horrendous with noodles, and I still managed to whiplash stewbroth onto my hand, my chin and the table, but it was nothing like the mess I can make of thin noodles.

    Tasty, affordable, quick and friendly. We'll be back. But next time we want our pumpkin.
  • Post #6 - December 21st, 2009, 12:31 pm
    Post #6 - December 21st, 2009, 12:31 pm Post #6 - December 21st, 2009, 12:31 pm
    Kirghiz are Turkic people as Uzbeks are too, many of the former USSR republics are of Turkic race as the Uigurs in China are too.
  • Post #7 - December 21st, 2009, 1:13 pm
    Post #7 - December 21st, 2009, 1:13 pm Post #7 - December 21st, 2009, 1:13 pm
    ryanwc,

    One of the most beautiful woman I ever encountered came from Kyrgyzistan, which definitely has an Asian influence.

    I love knowing there is another 'stan' to try out.

    Thank you for alerting us to it and giving it a try.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #8 - December 21st, 2009, 2:01 pm
    Post #8 - December 21st, 2009, 2:01 pm Post #8 - December 21st, 2009, 2:01 pm
    I'll add my praise. I stopped by for lunch today and learned a bit about the place. Since my visit was entirely unexpected, I had no camera with me; next time, for sure. Jibek Jolu is owned/run by a brother and sister; mom does the cooking with some help from the kids. I ordered the same soup as ryanwc--chuchvara--but I believe that the dumplings (from which the soup takes its name and which are quite pelmeni-like) are filled with lamb, not beef. A tasty broth, served hot (temperature, not spice) liberally sprinkled with dill and a bit of sour cream (both Russian affectations in my experience). Just the thing for the weather. I ordered the ganfan (a name that strikes my ear as Chinese) for my entree: a stew of red and green peppers, onion, and a little tomato, served over rice. The menu describes the dish as including "sliced decant"; I was told that this was a vegetable. Unfortunately, I didn't see anything unusual in my dish and forgot to ask about it. The internet turns up nothing with that spelling, so I'm at a loss there. Neither dish was strongly spiced, certainly not spicy hot, but enjoyable and clearly home-made. Black tea was served gratis and sugar encouraged. Nothing available yet for dessert, a few menu descriptions notwithstanding.

    According to some quick internet research I've now done, the restaurant features a number of standard Kirghiz dishes, including plov (rice topped with onions, carrots, and pieces of boiled meat; manty (large steamed dumplings filled with mutton and onions--and, a baked, "crispy," version as well), lagman (thick home-made noodles in a sauce, covered with cabbage, onions, and tomatoes). Those are some of the ones I recall; there were others and I look forward to trying them. If I had a quibble, it would be that the food is lightly seasoned; I simply don't know enough to know whether this is traditional, though my limited research all points to the food being on the lightly seasoned side. That would fit perfectly with food from, say, Tibet, which is right up there in world-class bland cuisines.

    It's not a large menu but it's certainly an interesting one. I'll confess that my experience of foods from that part of the world are relatively few, though I've had some Uzbek and a lot of Tibetan. Both are clearly present in influence here. The room is cozy and sparsely, if lovingly, decorated with paintings and knick-knacks from home.

    It's just far enough south of Foster that it wouldn't ordinarily catch my eye but I am very grateful to ryanwc for pointing this place out. I'll definitely be back and wish them much success.


    This website has quite a bit more information about Kirghiz cuisine.

    (And, though entirely uncalled for and distinctly irrelevant, I would offer that the sister is certainly stunning in my judgment.)
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #9 - December 21st, 2009, 2:34 pm
    Post #9 - December 21st, 2009, 2:34 pm Post #9 - December 21st, 2009, 2:34 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:The menu describes the dish as including "sliced decant"; I was told that this was a vegetable.


    I'm banking on a mild root vegetable, based on some shift of 'daikon.'
  • Post #10 - December 21st, 2009, 2:51 pm
    Post #10 - December 21st, 2009, 2:51 pm Post #10 - December 21st, 2009, 2:51 pm
    Mild root vegetable, yes. Some shift of "daikon," I'd vote no. But what do I know?
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #11 - December 21st, 2009, 4:01 pm
    Post #11 - December 21st, 2009, 4:01 pm Post #11 - December 21st, 2009, 4:01 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:(And, though entirely uncalled for and distinctly irrelevant, I would offer that the sister is certainly stunning in my judgment.)


    Certainly no less relevant than the bartender at Pizano's?

    I'm not putting myself in the Japonic-Altaic camp with the daikon proposal; just thinking that the most confidently transliterated menus are more often based on individual pronunciation than dictionary research.
  • Post #12 - December 21st, 2009, 9:13 pm
    Post #12 - December 21st, 2009, 9:13 pm Post #12 - December 21st, 2009, 9:13 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:I assume that you know about Chaihanna, a GNR serving primarily Uzbek cuisine.

    I would put a "non-" in front of the "Uzbek".

    In any case, if there is anyone out there who can explain to me the major differences between the Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, et al. cuisines, I have yet to meet that person. I imagine it's similar to trying to discern the difference between Colombian and Venezuelan food. In the case of *stan, you're basically talking lamb. And rice. And lamb with rice. And some pasta. And did I mention lamb. Veggies, not so much.

    Ryan, did you happen to note whether the lagman is handmade?
  • Post #13 - December 21st, 2009, 10:35 pm
    Post #13 - December 21st, 2009, 10:35 pm Post #13 - December 21st, 2009, 10:35 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:One of the most beautiful woman I ever encountered came from Kyrgyzistan ...


    You and Hans Castorp.

    "N'oubliez pas de me rendre mon crayon." Yowza
    JiLS
  • Post #14 - December 21st, 2009, 10:59 pm
    Post #14 - December 21st, 2009, 10:59 pm Post #14 - December 21st, 2009, 10:59 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:Mild root vegetable, yes. Some shift of "daikon," I'd vote no. But what do I know?

    We asked whether it was radish, on the same daikon theory, and were told no, it was a green and white vegetable. To be absolutely clear, we were told "yes, it's a greenish white vegetable." But from tone of voice, we both interpreted yes, to mean no. In other words, "yes, I don't want to be negative, because it's a good question, but you're wrong, it's a green and white vegetable."

    There were some thin greyish-white strips in my stew that had the consistency of jicama, and I was guessing that was the decant. I'm wondering whether it's in the kohlrabi family.

    No info on the provenance of the lagman.
  • Post #15 - December 21st, 2009, 11:13 pm
    Post #15 - December 21st, 2009, 11:13 pm Post #15 - December 21st, 2009, 11:13 pm
    Hi,

    Lagnam is available to take-out or eat in at Bread 'n' Bowl Company. I wish I had read the ingredient label to offer some third-party information to this discussion.

    Bread 'n' Bowl Company
    7239 W. Dempster Avenue
    Niles, IL
    312/388-8494, 312/217-8494
    BreadnBowl@gmail.com

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #16 - December 21st, 2009, 11:25 pm
    Post #16 - December 21st, 2009, 11:25 pm Post #16 - December 21st, 2009, 11:25 pm
    Been doing some research. A google of lagman decant manty gave 277 entries, and I was carefully going through them trying to sort out sites where they were using decant as a verb with wine. Then I realized that google was assuming I had misspelled "many". When I clicked "give results only with the word 'manty'" there were only 6 entries, including 2 from lth, and four others that offered nothing.

    However, a search of lagman recipes makes me think radish may be right, as it's one of the ingredients in many lagman and laghman recipes, such as this one:
    http://boisdejasmin.typepad.com/_/2009/ ... rance.html

    This one, for laghman, didn't mention radish, but you should still click here to see the picture of Samarqand:
    http://amiralace.blogspot.com/2005/12/laghman.html

    On that basis, I've decided I don't want to know for certain what decant is until I get a chance to ask someone during a trip to Samarqand.
  • Post #17 - December 21st, 2009, 11:29 pm
    Post #17 - December 21st, 2009, 11:29 pm Post #17 - December 21st, 2009, 11:29 pm
    cilantro wrote:In any case, if there is anyone out there who can explain to me the major differences between the Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, et al. cuisines, I have yet to meet that person. I imagine it's similar to trying to discern the difference between Colombian and Venezuelan food. In the case of *stan, you're basically talking lamb. And rice. And lamb with rice. And some pasta. And did I mention lamb. Veggies, not so much.

    Follow the wiki Kyrgyz cuisine page's end notes and you'll find a page with a handy run-through. Kyrgyz herdsman ate mostly meat, milk and bread. Vegetable dishes tend to be from the Uzbek influence. For info on the Kazakh influence, all I can suggest is that you might consult the movie Borat. I've heard it's very authentic.
    Last edited by ryanwc on December 21st, 2009, 11:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #18 - December 21st, 2009, 11:36 pm
    Post #18 - December 21st, 2009, 11:36 pm Post #18 - December 21st, 2009, 11:36 pm
    ryanwc wrote:For info on the Kazakh influence, you should probably consult the movie Borat. I've heard it's very authentic.

    It is very authentic.


















    NOT!

    P.S. The radish you're looking for is basically daikon. But... green. Like so:

    Image
  • Post #19 - December 21st, 2009, 11:44 pm
    Post #19 - December 21st, 2009, 11:44 pm Post #19 - December 21st, 2009, 11:44 pm
    cilantro wrote:P.S. The radish you're looking for is basically daikon. But... green. Like so:


    Thanks for the pic! Cool.
  • Post #20 - December 22nd, 2009, 4:37 pm
    Post #20 - December 22nd, 2009, 4:37 pm Post #20 - December 22nd, 2009, 4:37 pm
    cilantro: great pic. Interesting that it's from a Chinese website.... Makes me wish I could read Chinese, though I note that the label is Qingdao green (radish). I'd love to find out what we're talking about before I return.


    More snooping around on the net led me to this site, a fairly thorough (and downright fascinating) discussion of Kirghiz/Kyrghyz cuisine. (Including the word for radish, türp). Then also to this site.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #21 - December 22nd, 2009, 4:55 pm
    Post #21 - December 22nd, 2009, 4:55 pm Post #21 - December 22nd, 2009, 4:55 pm
    And, per Eliot, "the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started" (Little Gidding) The more I ponder, the greater the likelihood, it seems to me, that santander may well be right: this was a less-than-accurate/successful effort to identify the item in question with daikon!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #22 - December 22nd, 2009, 5:01 pm
    Post #22 - December 22nd, 2009, 5:01 pm Post #22 - December 22nd, 2009, 5:01 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:I ordered the ganfan (a name that strikes my ear as Chinese) for my entree: a stew of red and green peppers, onion, and a little tomato, served over rice.


    Agreed that the dish does have a certain Chinese sound to it, but the use of the suffix fan would indicate that it should be some sort of noodle dish, if Chinese were the root of the name and/or the dish.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #23 - December 22nd, 2009, 5:17 pm
    Post #23 - December 22nd, 2009, 5:17 pm Post #23 - December 22nd, 2009, 5:17 pm
    "Fan" is actually "rice" (or more generally "food"). You may be thinking of "chaofan" which is rice noodles.
  • Post #24 - December 22nd, 2009, 5:23 pm
    Post #24 - December 22nd, 2009, 5:23 pm Post #24 - December 22nd, 2009, 5:23 pm
    cilantro wrote:You may be thinking of "chaofan" which is rice noodles.


    Exactly. Also "mai fan", or Singapore noodles.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #25 - December 22nd, 2009, 5:51 pm
    Post #25 - December 22nd, 2009, 5:51 pm Post #25 - December 22nd, 2009, 5:51 pm
    The "fan"/"fen" in both cases indicating rice noodle. But "fan" makes perfect sense for the rice dish described above.
  • Post #26 - December 22nd, 2009, 8:14 pm
    Post #26 - December 22nd, 2009, 8:14 pm Post #26 - December 22nd, 2009, 8:14 pm
    cilantro wrote:The "fan"/"fen" in both cases indicating rice noodle. But "fan" makes perfect sense for the rice dish described above.


    See, stuff like this is why I wasn't able to make it through the Chinese Language for Eaters book I failed at comprehending a few years ago. :wink:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #27 - December 22nd, 2009, 8:22 pm
    Post #27 - December 22nd, 2009, 8:22 pm Post #27 - December 22nd, 2009, 8:22 pm
    stevez wrote:
    cilantro wrote:The "fan"/"fen" in both cases indicating rice noodle. But "fan" makes perfect sense for the rice dish described above.


    See, stuff like this is why I wasn't able to make it through the Chinese Language for Eaters book I failed at comprehending a few years ago. :wink:

    Actually, someone pointed out that I'm using "fan" pretty cavalierly myself. It should really be "fen" or "fun" (for rice noodles). :oops:
  • Post #28 - December 22nd, 2009, 9:34 pm
    Post #28 - December 22nd, 2009, 9:34 pm Post #28 - December 22nd, 2009, 9:34 pm
    Will someone please post a photo of the sister....
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #29 - December 22nd, 2009, 9:52 pm
    Post #29 - December 22nd, 2009, 9:52 pm Post #29 - December 22nd, 2009, 9:52 pm
    Image
  • Post #30 - December 23rd, 2009, 12:36 pm
    Post #30 - December 23rd, 2009, 12:36 pm Post #30 - December 23rd, 2009, 12:36 pm
    LTH,

    I haven't been this charmed by a new restaurant in a while, friendly, comfortable, reasonably priced and the bonus of a interesting tasty cuisine of which I have little knowledge.

    Kibek Jolu

    Image

    Strong hot tea and house baked bread put a damper on the blustery December Chicago day.

    House baked bread

    Image

    Followed by bone and soul warming soups, a delicious full-figured Borsh and Shorpo, tender lamb with red potatoes, garlic and dill.

    Borsh

    Image

    Shorpo

    Image

    Korean Carrot Salad is a crunchy tasty mix with garlic playing a lead role, I liked this to the degree after the first bite I was wondering how to make it at home.

    Korean Carrot Salad

    Image

    Samsy, oven baked with lamb, potato and onion filling, one of the ubiquitous baked dough with filling seen in so many cultures, done really well.

    Samsy

    Image
    Image

    Pelmeni, full flavored dumplings in a thin broth, any residual chill I may have had from the 20-degree weather dissipated into sheer carbo joy at first bite.

    Pelmeni

    Image

    Manty, steamed dumplings stuffed with beef and onions (No pumpkin in evidence in our batch) were a joy, in particular when enhanced with Lazy, spicy/funky/garlicky table hot paste, mixed with white vinegar, which our pretty, and personable, waitress did for us.

    Manty w/Lazy (hot paste) mixed with white vinegar

    Image

    Loved the gratis table side spicy condiment Lazy, pronounced Laazy, a mix of dried hot peppers, garlic and a still unrecognizable funky element. We liked the Lazy so much we even slathered it on the bread.

    Lazy

    Image

    Lagman, which I commented had a subtle Chinese edge, a delicious mix of daikon, green, red and banana peppers with stewed tomatoes, garlic and lamb on house-made noodles.

    Lagman

    Image

    Plov was the only dish I might improve upon, not for flavor, buttery rice and tender lamb quite appealing, but I found the amount of lamb slightly scarce.

    Plov

    Image

    The three of us capped lunch with crisp baklava, not overly sweet, a perfect end of meal accompaniment to lightly sweetened black tea.

    Much of what is served at Jibek Jolu is made in house.

    Manty, as well as palmemi, bread and noodles, are made in-house

    Image
    Image
    Image


    Gypsy Boy wrote:The menu describes the dish as including "sliced decant"; I was told that this was a vegetable. Unfortunately, I didn't see anything unusual in my dish and forgot to ask about it. The internet turns up nothing with that spelling, so I'm at a loss there.

    Decant typo = Daikon

    Image

    Gypsy Boy wrote:(And, though entirely uncalled for and distinctly irrelevant, I would offer that the sister is certainly stunning in my judgment.)

    Agreed, Albina is quite attractive

    Image

    As an aside, I offer Jibek Jolu uses ottomans as part of their seating, there are regular tables as well, as homage the Ottoman Empire. ;)

    Image

    Thanks Ryan for the heads up on Jibek Jolu, a restaurant/cuisine I intend to fully explore.

    Jibek Jolu, count me a fan.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow

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