Experiencing Kyrgyzstan Cuisine In Hong Kong At Chaihana Bishkek– Via Plate Culture!

I had first heard of Plate Culture when they followed me on Instagram. I had a look at their feed and saw photos of all the delicious food, and quickly went to their webpage. I loved the platform that they had built, described in Wikipedia as, “a sharing economy platform that enables guests to dine at a local host’s home… where hosts list their kitchens through the site and guests make bookings to dine at a host’s home restaurant”– also described as “an Asian startup that’s essentially the Airbnb of food.

You guys know that I’m a big advocate of using food as a platform to exchange cultures, hence the reason I founded Cross Cultures! And some of you have probably already surmised that I am always about exploring cuisines that aren’t readily available where I live– during my travels. I had an upcoming trip to Hong Kong and was browsing through the Plate Culture site and came across Kyrgyzstan cuisine by Chaihana Bishkek.. of course, I booked that right away!

Chaihana Bishkek (Chaihana means teahouse and Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan) is located at the home of Kyrgyz national Lira Ashyralieva’s residence in New Territories, Hong Kong. I paid PHP1,808 (around HKD$301) on the Plate Culture website and made a reservation for 1pax. As soon as you pay/ book, the host’s contact information is revealed to you, likewise the address, and how to get there.

Mini Bus- Hong Kong- New Territories
My first time to take a mini bus in Hong Kong! From the station, Lira will give you instructions on how to get to their residence in New Territories.
Tsing Yi, New Territories, Hong Kong
Their home looks out to Tsing Yi.. you know that bridge you cross everytime you go to the airport. (The first stop on the airport express from the airport.. before Kowloon.. before Hong Kong/ Central.)
Lira Ashyralieva- Chaihana Bishkek- Plate Culture Hong Kong- New Territories
The lovely Lira A. in her home kitchen!
Plate Culture Hong Kong- Kyrgyzstan Cuisine- Chaihana Bishkek- Lira Ashyralieva
My quaint and cozy lunch set-up for 1 pax! I told Lira’s husband Almazbek I wanted to watch only videos of their country, so we did :) Some facts: Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the south west and China to the east. They have a population of 6 M people. And majority of the country is stunning mountainous terrain.
Plate Culture Hong Kong- Kyrgyzstan Cuisine- Chaihana Bishkek- Samsa
I LOVED these samsa– triangular baked puffed pastries filled with finely chopped meat (this was lamb; they only eat lamb and beef– okay, and horses, eep :( as they are mostly Muslim), onions, garlic, often sold in the streets and eaten by hand!
Chuchpara (meat dumplings in soup)- Kyrgyzstan Cuisine- Chaihana Bishkek Hong Kong
In Kyrgyzstan, they call this Chuchpara (meat dumplings in soup), which is very similar to the Russian pelmeni and Turkish manti.
Kuurdak- Kyrgyzstan Cuisine- Chaihana Bishkek Hong Kong
Kuurdak is one of the main and oldest dishes in Kyrgyz cuisine made from stewed mutton and potatoes, and served with lecho sauce, and interestingly spiced sauce made of peppers and tomatoes.
Kyrgyzstan Chocolates- Russia- Chaihana Bishkek Hong Kong
Russian chocolates are popular in Kyrgyzstan as well!
Lira Ashyralieva- Chaihana Bishkek- Plate Culture Hong Kong- New Territories- Cheryl Tiu
Meet my new and first Kyrgz friends! Baby Andeline is soooo cute!! She’s 2 years old and has Central Asian features but is super duper blonde! She’s the daughter of the lovely Lira and Almazbek!

It was such a lovely dining experience.. I felt like I was in Kyrgyzstan.. well, in a Kyrgyz home at least, and seeing how they lived, ate, and their culture, allowed me to get to know the world a little bit more.. and in a very homey and private environment. I highly recommend a Plate Culture experience in a city where it is available :)

Chaihana Bishkek also make for friends in Hong Kong who order for takeout, and also do delivery. For more information on them, they have a Facebook page here. Plate Culture also has a Facebook page (click here).


  1. Cheryl, this is such a beautiful post. And so unexpected for us. We are very happy that the idea of social dining is spreading, people love and support it! One of the best blog posts we had:) Thanks for taking your time.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words! I enjoyed my experience and kudos to you guys at Plate Culture for such an awesome platform!

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