The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is a symbol of friendship. This friendship started when Mayor Maksud Ikramov declared Dushanbe, Tajikistan and Boulder, Colorado sister cities due to the mountains and beauty of both cities. Built and assembled in Tajikistan, Mayor Maksud Ikramov gifted Boulder, Colorado the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse in 1997. Outside, purple and teal stonework covers the walls as you walk down a path surrounded by intricately designed benches and foliage. As you enter the teahouse, your eyes are attracted to vaulted ceilings with vibrant paintings. You come to appreciate the intricate design of the wood pillars as the friendly and knowledgeable staff explain that the entire building was hand-crafted and built with little machinery. With a stone fountain surrounded by plants, the ambience of the restaurant is very elegant and peaceful.

As our evening began, we started off with their famous House Chai and Hibiscus Mule. The warmth of the freshly made House Chai is quick to leave you desiring for more. The flavors of the Hibiscus Mule definitely put a twist on your regular Moscow Mule. As we perused the menu, our server brought out salted Focaccia bread, served with olive oil and herbs. The bread was the perfect consistency and paired really well with the oil and herbs.

As a newcomer to The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, I was overwhelmed choosing my dinner, as it all looked and sounded delicious. I finally chose the Tajikistan Plov which was the perfect combination of spices, herbs, salty and sweet to create an amazing dish. With the beef cooked to the perfect tenderness so that it falls apart without needing a knife, it melts in your mouth. The mini sized house made naan paired with the beef truly brought in the culture to the dish. The rice mixed with carrots, chickpeas, and spices with the dried fruit made for a bite that was never boring. The tomato cucumber salad added a favorable taste as you eat your dinner as great side to an already amazing entree.

Elana ordered the Korean Bi Bim Bop which has a wonderful marinade of flavors that was unlike anything she’s ever tasted. Dushanbe offers various gluten free and vegetarian dishes. Originally comes with marinated beef, which was replaced with marinated tofu with the perfect amount of spice. The carrots offered a cool, citrus taste to the dish to offset the spicy red pepper sauce. The zucchini and kale paired excellently in the dish, packed with savory herbs and spices. A poached egg atop the rice made a wonderfully decadent dinner.

For dessert, of course we had to indulge in the Apple Zeppole, a pastry with apple pieces inside, covered in powdered sugar with a chai cream to drizzle on top. This was an amazing and delicious way to finish our meal.

I would highly recommend coming to the Dushanbe Teahouse to enjoy rich historical culture, and delicious food!