Chaihona No. 1
Walk along the southern bank of the Moscow River in Gorky Park and you will arrive at a high-tech Uzbek yurt – an enclosed circular wooden building.
rnChaihona is a welcoming sight in the depths of winter, decorated in warming deep reds and yellows with a roaring open fire. Uzbek fabrics are draped from the dome of the yurt, creating a low-lit, relaxing lounge somewhat akin to a circus tent, and hookah pipes fill the air with the pungent aroma of flavoured tobacco.
rnA series of open booths with low tables is ornamented with decorative fabrics and filled with cushions to sprawl over; and while a menu of the finest Uzbek cuisine may fill some with dread, it is actually quite delicious.
rnLive DJs and Uzbek groups play at least once a week, turning this peaceful retreat into a native dance zone. There are two other Chaihona No. 1s that have the same vibe, found at the Hermitage Gardens and Bolshaya Gruzinskaya, 4/6, opposite the zoo.