This week we were invited to sample the delights of Uzbek cuisine and where better to try it than at the Uzbekistan Lazzati Restaurant located in Drinking Street, off Second Road (opposite Tiffany’s Theatre).
This unique restaurant is extremely popular especially with Russian tourists who flock to devour the authentic Uzbek creations skillfully prepared by master chef Akmal, who has been in the business for over 35 years.
Uzbekistan Lazzati Restaurant has been running for nearly 5 months since the end of October last year and is owned by husband and wife team Fazil and Khaitova (Lola) Khilolakhon, both from Uzbekistan of course. For those of you who do not know where this fascinating and ancient country is; the Republic of Uzbekistan is a land locked country in Central Asia that was once a part of the Soviet Union until 1991. The capital city is Tashkent.
The word ‘Lazzati’ means ‘Pleasure’ in Uzbek and the hospitality that Lola and Fazil have created is a wonderful menu full of authentic Uzbek recipes using the finest ingredients including spices such as Zera (cumin) and herbs imported from Uzbekistan to offer dishes that will certainly please the most discerning of diners. The cozy air conditioned Uzbekistan Lazzati Restaurant seats up to 38 customers and is decorated with colourful wall tapestries and plates all adding to the friendly ambiance of the place.
The menu comprises a delicious selection of specialty salads, soups and main courses, all at extremely reasonable prices. The excellent salads are priced from 80 baht a portion. The flavoursome soups, which are a meal in themselves, are priced from 130 baht for Okroshka, which is a cold soup served with yoghurt, cucumber, eggs and green vegetables, up to 170 baht for Chuchvara Soup, a rich spicy soup containing tiny home made dumplings filled with minced beef. The main courses range from 180 baht for BBQ Shashlik to 390 baht for imported New Zealand Lamb Shank.
To start our meal we tried a glass each of cool and refreshing Cherry Juice and Pomegranate Juice. (70 baht a glass). We were then treated to a selection of colourful Salads, including a very tasty mixture of potatoes, carrots, eggs, pickles, peas and home made mayonnaise called Olivier, very similar to a Russian Salad. Also a freshly prepared Salad called Achuchuk, containing tomatoes, cucumbers and onion. This was a simple but very delicious tasting salad for 90 baht. There was a platter filled with a delicious meat assortment (370 baht) containing Smoked Beef, Salami, Ox Tongue and Kazy, which is cured horse meat, a very popular delicacy dish in Uzbekistan. This was followed by another Uzbek delicacy called Samsa (50 baht), a baked pastry pie which is similar to a Samosa, filled with spicy minced beef.
For the main course we sampled Plov (210 baht), which is a pilaf rice dish with beef, vegetables and spices. Manty (210 baht) a wonderful large dumpling recipe, a ravioli style potato dough stuffed with minced beef. This was followed by a platter of skewered Shashlik, that chef Akmal prepares to order on the special BBQ grill outside at the entrance of the restaurant. We tried the beef, chicken wings and a specialty lamb shashlik. Delicious tasting with chili sauce and all at 180 baht for two large skewers!
The Soups are very popular here and so we had to try them out. We sampled a fragrant Noodle Soup filled with home made noodles, meat balls, vegetables and spices and the Borsch that followed with an amazing rich and tempting aroma was excellent with the right balance of beetroot, cabbage and other vegetables, beef and spices.