One place certainly worth a visit is Pasha, a friendly restaurant that provides not just great food but a genuine central Asian dining experience. The food is of a high quality, the recipes are authentic, the staff are friendly, prices reasonable and the decor is of another world – dining at Pasha is like living the life of a Sultan.
I wouldn’t consider myself a conoisseur of Central Asian food but working off this basis I am a big fan! The food is simple yet tasty – this isn’t Michelin starred flair but exotic home cooking. The wide variety of appetising starters, such as Hachapuri and Feta Salad, are in an easily-sharable tapas form. What’s brilliant is that they are all so light and refreshing, thus complimenting the rather heavier mains, such as beef stroganoff. That said, with such an expansive menu – which I must add is very vegetarian friendly – even the fussiest eater would struggle to find a dish that doesn’t sound appealing; main courses range from vegetable moussaka to heartier meat dishes such as the Chicken Shashlik [effectively a kebab like dish] and Beshbarmak [a Kazhakstani Lamb broth]. Pasha also accommodates those with a sweeter tooth with an array of desserts such as Creme Caramel and Baklava.
And what is food without drink? Pasha has a cosy collection of beverages that fit right in with the Central Asian theme of the restaurant. Wines and beers herald from the likes of Georgia and Kazakhstan, whilst there is also a wide variety of liquors to finish off your meal and leave you dozing off amidst the Turkish rugs and piles of cushions that litter the area…
Yes, and that’s what makes Pasha awesome. The dining room offers you the opportunity to embrace Central Asian dining tradition and eat at a low table, sat cross-legged upon comfy rugs and swamped by cushions to recline upon as you fill up. The room itself is colourful but not garish, the wall hangings and drapery only adding to the overall experience. What’s more, the restaurant has it’s very own river… with FISH. If that doesn’t draw you in then nothing will. The friendly atmosphere, delightful staff and authentic (not to mention delicious) food combined with the themed furnishing creates an experience that is impossible not to embrace and love.
There is something else too, that makes this gem that little bit more special; it is in fact a boutique hotel that actually offers something beyond a good quality meal… it is home to a hamam, more commonly known as a Turkish bath. Pasha actually offers a deal – for £89, you and a friend get a hamam spa experience followed by a meal in their restaurant! It’s a brilliant deal and if any of you take it up then please comment on your experience!
So give this place a go, and you will not regret it. It’s perfect for both intimate, more romantic meals as well as larger groups that are looking for something different- as I said, they love their shots here and are more than happy to turn up the music for some dancing towards the end of the night! Pasha is a genuine taste of Asia that is waiting to be explored and only just South of the River.
For pictures and further details, check out their official website.
Location: 158 Camberwell Road, SE5 0EE [Oval]
Suitable For: Date, Dining, Something Different
Dining: Sit-Down Meal
Price: Happily Affordable
Tips: It is not Asian custom to smash your plates on the floor – don’t do it.
Wow Factor: Dining amidst a sea of cushions and tasteful drapery.