A new Central Asian restaurant, Silk Road, is set to open in late August at 1920 S. Park St., in the former location of Madtown Chicken N’ Fish. The restaurant will operate Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will also offer takeout, delivery and catering.
Owner Manuchehr Kholov is from a small village in the Faizabad region of Tajikistan. He designed his menu to include cuisines from other countries in the region as well.
“I chose Central Asian cuisine because in (Tajik) culture we have kebabs and so do Turkey, Kazakhstan and others,” Kholov said. “If you look at a map, starting from my country all the way to Europe along the Silk Road, we serve similar food.”
The menu will include chicken, lamb and ground beef adana kebabs, beef and onion-filled Afghan dumplings known as mantu and an Uzbek pulled noodle dish called lagman. For dessert, Silk Road will serve medovik, a honey layer cake popular in former Soviet countries.
Since the restaurant is halal, alcoholic beverages will not be served, but fresh squeezed juice and lemonade will be available. Multiple varieties of green tea, which Tajikistan is known for, will also be served.
“We have a long winter here in Madison so our teas will be great for that,” Kholov said. “We’ll have mint and ginger tea, which is helpful if you have the flu … and to protect you from colds. We’ll also have lemon ginger tea, mango tea, just a variety of herbal teas.”
Kholov has always been around food businesses in different capacities, which inspired him to start his own.
“I was raised by a single mom and she opened the first bakery in our village,” Kholov said. “It was one of the best times of my life — I’d come home from school and go straight to the bakery, and sometimes just fall asleep on a bag of flour.”
The family moved to Russia when Kholov was a preteen due to Tajikistan’s financial situation, he said. Tajikistan is the poorest country in Central Asia and is dependent on labor remittances. Labor remittances are when migrants send home part of their earnings to support their families.
“I went to different establishments and asked them to hire me for any work they had, so I started working as a dishwasher after school from the age of 13,” Kholov said. “Then I got into a kitchen doing decorative salads and eventually I became a manager. So it’s always been my dream to open a restaurant of my own.”
Kholov moved to Madison from Russia in 2021 to be with his wife, who was studying at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has now settled in Madison.
“I want my restaurant to be a place where every customer feels important because of our service,” Kholov said. “My number one priorities are high-quality food, loyalty and great service for all.”
Source : Cap Times