I’m All About the Soup at the New Gan Eden by Jacob
A few weeks ago Dave Cook from Eating in Translation posted about a meal he had at Gan Eden by Jacob, a (kind of) new Glatt Kosher restaurant on 47th btw. 5+6th. He actually discovered that the restaurant isn’t exactly new… it used to be run by Jacob’s father, before closing about 4 years ago. It reopened a month ago, and we hit the place up together (two guys can eat more than one) to sample the menu. I don’t actually know much about Bukharian food- my experience is limited to Taam Tov (also on 47th btw. 5+6th) and some manty I had at the Choice Eats last year. But I was eager to stuff my face learn, and Dave proved to be a great tour guide.
We started with the plav, which at $10 teeters dangerously close to not being a Midtown Lunch. The beef was nice and tender, and the rice was a big pile of greasy goodness. Plov is similar to a dish I like at Taam Tov, but the last time I had it was 3 years so a comparison would be kind of unfair.
Choice Eats was more recent, and with those amazing manty fresh in my mind I wanted to try Gan Eden’s version. They make them to order, and takes about 45 minutes. Plus it’s $8, so it’s definitely not a Midtown Lunch item… but I still enjoyed ‘em.
For a filling lunch, the way to go is the kebab’s are the way to go- and for around $9 you can get two skewers plus side dishes. We wanted to try a few, so we ordered them ala carte ($4.50 each)… including the lamb ribs, which were really tasty (although not recommended for those who don’t like fat, and want a lot of meat.)
And the chicken wings, which we really only ordered because the menu called them “chicken wigs” and Dave really wanted me to be able to make some kind of “bald chicken” joke again. They were fine, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be much happier ordering the lamb or beef.
But I have to admit my favorite two dishes of the day were the soups ($4). Shurpa is an industry standard, although admittedly I’ve never tried it. It’s a basic chicken broth soup, and heavy on the dill. If it had a big matzoh ball in the middle, I would have thought my grandma was in the kitchen.
But even better than that was the Lagman ($4.50), which I’ve also never had… so I don’t really know what it is supposed to taste like. All I know is it was awesome. Dave seemed surprised to see that it was tomato base, but I liked it. Unlike the shurpa, it’s got noodles… although it also has a heavy does of the dill. Now people have been asking me to write about non-Asian soups, and I think I should get credit for for this post- even though technically these soups are “Central Asian”.
The hidden Bukharian restaurants of 47th Street (this one is 0n the 3rd floor of its building) live on the edge of the Midtown Lunch credo. They’re hidden, authentic, and awesome… but they’re sit down, can be expensive, and can sometimes take awhile. But in this weather, I don’t see how anybody could be disappointed grabbing a soup from Gan Eden.
Gan Eden by Jacob, 74 W. 47th St. (btw. 5+6th) 3rd Floor, 212-730-6953