Let’s be honest: Cyclon (on Chuy, halfway between Beta Stores and the Plaza) isn’t really an Italian restaurant. But that’s a good thing.
Cyclon is one of our Bishkek ‘standbys’ (the others are Park Cafe, Old Edgar’s, Obama Bar, Cave Coffee, Coffee Cafe, Mira Kebaba, Furusato and occasionally Beta 2 for breakfast). The restaurant is best in summer, when you can sit out on the covered terrace and watch the pedestrian traffic go by while catching the evening breeze. In winter it’s less crowded, but the interior is still well-situated. The menu includes a lot of Italian classics (with names in accurate Italian!) along with a more general continental selection of soups, salads, pastas, meats, pizzas and desserts. There are some strange things on the menu – like Scottish Cock-a-leekie soup (definitely not Italian…), but everything I’ve tried has been good – fresh ingredients, flavorful, neither over nor under cooked, nicely presented.
Though, like a lot of Bishkek restaurants, garnishes are not included. E ordered veal with truffle sauce, and he got exactly that: veal with truffle sauce.
Some of my favorites from Cyclone include: cold gazpacho soup (in summer, with plenty of toppings), mini gnocchi, the tuna salad – actually basically all their salads. Yesterday we split a giant mound of cucumber, tomato and corn salad with pesto that was surprisingly fresh given the season. E swears by the wiener schnitzel and tomato soup,, and his ungarnished veal was not bad.
– The menu is in both Russian and English (with grammatically accurate cute descriptions of all the food and stories behind the different Italian pastas)
– The waitstaff tries to speak English. If you speak no Russian, they are polite and patient enough that you shouldn’t have a problem.
– Prices are all really reasonable for what you get (good service, attention to detail, carefully-prepared delicious food, good ambiance). Soups run 100-200 som, salad 100-300, main dishes 200-800. We usually spend around 1500 som for two (gratuity included), though if you just ordered a soup and salad you could easily have a decent meal for under 500. Things like tea and breadbaskets are also all reasonably priced, and we’ve never found our bill to be off. It’s probably the best value-for-your-money Italian-ish restaurant in the city