Recently I went to Ragu which I understand is the oldest Indian restaurant in Uzbekistan and had one of the most delightful dining experiances eating Indian cuisine anywhere.
The ambience is second to none and being greeted by beautiful waitresses in Indian National dress was great.
The food was very authentic and made fresh to order. not liking spices too much i informed them and I was amazed that the taste was to my liking immediately.
Their butter chicken was divine and the hot naans from the tandoor were wonderful.
I reccomend Ragu to anyone who wants a superb dining experiance.
Favorite Dish: Reshmi kebab,Butter chicken
This restaurant had been recommended to me by a friend, so I was pleased to discover that it was only about 15 minutes walk away from our hotel, the Grand Raddus. The recommendation turned out to be spot-on (thanks Tom!) and we were very pleased with our evening out, despite being very tired after our long flight the day/night before and our first day’s sightseeing in the Uzbek heat.
On arrival we had a choice of sitting inside our out and chose a table in the pretty courtyard. We’d come early, about 6.00 PM (because we were headed for a much-needed early night) – later arrivals who hadn’t reserved a table had to sit inside as the courtyard ones were all taken. The first requirement was for cold beers all round, and we were quickly supplied with glasses of Shimkent, a pleasant-tasting beer from Kazakhstan. Our friendly waiter was very patient as we tried to decide what to eat – this was our first encounter with Uzbek food and despite some research before we went we weren’t at all sure what to order. Eventually we settled on sharing some samsas to start with. Chris then chose a plate of manty, I went for the stuffed peppers, Sue a Greek salad and Georgina a vegetable curry (see my Uzbekistan page for an explanation of the Uzbek dishes).
Just one complaint: our waiter had perhaps been too busy trying to please us with his helpfulness, and had forgotten to write down my order for the peppers, so I ended up eating my main course after the others had finished. Not to worry though – another beer helped pass the time, and when I’d caught up we ordered some desserts. My “Eastern sweets” turned out to be a selection of dried fruits and nuts; we ate a few then packed up the rest to take out (they were just what we needed a few days later on the long drive through the desert).
Favorite Dish: All the food was tasty – we particularly liked the spinach samsas and the manty. Sue’s banana split was also pronounced first-rate.
We paid 30,000 som for two (about £12), including 3 large and one small beer. Although the Caravan is considered a little expensive by Uzbek standards we found it excellent value for the superior quality of the food, very pleasant environment and friendly English-speaking staff – oh, and the English menu. Highly recommended!
Somehow, real coffee (or espresso) is something you cannot get easily around each corner in Uzbekistan (and Tajikistan and that bit of Kyrgyzstan I travelled to). You’ll likely get more of the ones made with nescafe powder or even worse, the ones that are a ready mix with sugar and powder milk. So you can imagine that I was kind of craving for real coffee after 5 weeks of nescafe. I did sample here and there, but still no luck.
It was only on my last day in Uzbekistan that I was wandering back to the hotel after a visit in the Orthodox Church. I went through the backstreets, and it proved again that these hold the best gems :-)
Art Café Dervish didn’t have a sign, it was more the building that caught my attention – in a lovely adobe like style. Only then I noticed the sign on the wall that says “Café”.
Ahh, how good did my brain stell worked after having been boiled in Central Asia’s summer heat – I went inside and it was indeed coffee heaven !
The small courtyard is lovely decorated in the same stayle as the exterior, almost as if they await the next caravan to arrive. Stairs lead to an upper terrace, but I stayed in the cool courtyard.
Favorite Dish: Compared to other cafes, coffee here is not cheap, a cup is 1200 som. But given the fact that it is REAL espresso, it is almost nothing :-)
While seaching the net for more information or a website, I found nothing, but did come across a French newsletter (of Oct. 2005), which writes very positive about them (see website, page 14, top).
In the same street as Hotel Orzu. Take the metro, get off at Oybek (blue line) or Mingorik (green line), go southeast along (southern side) of Rustavelli street until you see a Continental tire shop. Turn left and walk 3 blocks, then it is on your left side.
Coordinates on GoogleEarth:
41°17’21,26’’ N; 69°15’54,66’’ E
Good food, live jazz some nights and a shop full of interesting handicrafts for those who love to browse and/or shop make the Caravan Art Cafe a great choice for eating out in Tashkent. Decorated with all sorts of interesting artefacts and occupying several rooms around a courtyard, it is a popular place with visitors and residents alike, and if you want to sit outside it really is advisable to book, especially at weekends. The menu is extensive, a real mix of Uzbek and Russian influences with traditional dishes and what can only be described as Uzbek Fusion.
Favorite Dish: 2009 updateThe Caravan goes from strength to strength. Our choice for our last night dinner, we found ourselves seated Uzbek-style, cross-legged in a slightly raised balcony, a good vantage point from which to watch both the excellent saxophonist and the crowded room. Not that we did too much watching - we were too busy with both the serious business of choosing from the extensive menu and eating and comparing dishes when our meals came. The food was wonderful - as always, dish upon dish of delicious salads, our last taste of the wonderful bread and main courses that were varied, well-cooked and presented. I had a spicy sausage of some sort, rather like a black pudding, grainy and spicy - yum! Nice wine too.
The restaurant is very popular with locals in couples and in large groups. Two smart young things sitting near us were busy with both their laptops and their shishsa.
You might want to bring a pocket torch to read the menu - the lighting is definitely what would be called atmospheric!
Booking really is essential - as it is at most popular Tashkent restaurants.
This place is a lot of things at the same time: restaurant, with typical Uzbek food and typical occidental cuisine!!!
It's also an art gallery offering a wide rande of traditionnal Uzbek handicrafts as well as paintings by famous Uzbek artists (a bit expensive though).
And finally it's a "cafe" where you can enjoy live jazz, Uzbek folk music or join social and cultural events hosted every once in a while
Wander down the pedestrianised street in downtown Tashkent, known locally as Broadway, you will find bars and shashlik restaurants lined up one after the other. Some look decidedly iffy, others are more salubrious and one, the Oasis, was a good choice, with an attractive garden area through the back and a good range of delicious shashliks that were well-cooked and presented. The music wasn't too loud (definitely a hazard in Uzbekistan - as is the practice of charging for listening to it) and a succession of pretty girls shimmied and shook their way through some fairly perfunctory belly-dances. Whether we were charged for the entertainment is debatable, but as the bill worked out to about $5 a head and we were satisfied with both our meal and the place, we weren't about to complain.
Favorite Dish: A refrigerated cabinet out the front displays the choice - various permutations of lamb and pork. Servings were generous, the meat well-cooked, flavoursome and served with grilled vegetables. Cold Russian beer (Baltica 7 is a good choice) and fresh Uzbek bread made a satisfying meal.
2009 update Not from my own experience, but a note from fellow-VTer Cdnexpat who knows Tashkent well, Broadway has been "cleaned up"and the restaurants moved to other parts of town. Now the place is as dead as a dodo at night - something of a shame - it was a bit sleazy but was popular and had a lively, raffish vibe that is missing from the city now.
It is a bit difficult to find, but once you find it, you will like it.
This restaurant is quite popular among the local people, and all day long it is full of people.
Place is near the Aloy bozori (Alayskiy bazar). This restaurant is located in NW of the bazaar, along the southern walkway of Abdullah Qodiriy street.
Favorite Dish: There's not much choices.
1. 3 types of soup
5. Fried fish
Samsa and some fried fish + salad will be a feast.
And it is very cheap.
Between ourselves, we referred to this restaurant as "The Worker's Canteen". It's cafeteria -style, take a tray and join the queue setup certainly has all the appearance of a staff canteen. Come lunch-time and those queues are practically stretching out the door - this is one popular place! When you taste the food you've chosen from the extensive range of dishes on offer, and paid the ludicrously low bill to the cashier at the end of the counter, you can understand why. We were impressed enough to come back more than once and, had it been open on weekends, we'd have come again.
With plenty of staff on hand to clear tables and sweep the floor, the place stays neat and clean despite the constant flow of people. Lots of windows and open arches between the two levels, wooden tables and chairs, brick walls hung with bright paintings combined with a sense of folk really enjoying their meal all work together to create a lively scene. Lunching here really is joining in with the locals.
Favorite Dish: Given the rapid turnover through the lunch hour (and it really is not much more than an hour) the quality of the food here is tremendous. A big range of salads, the inevitable soups, and then a whole bank of hot dishes - stews, baked meats, lots of vegetables - you point and the portions are doled out by an army of servers behind the counter - this is what fast food should be like - genuinely good cooking, not a reconstituted potato or piece of "meat" in sight.
What did we eat? So many good things - the sweetest, most flavourful zucchini I have ever , ever tasted; ditto aubergine fritters; a creamy potato dish - so good on the lips, don't even think about the hips; a spicy bean and meat stew was lip-smackingly good; stuffed vegetables; tender meatballs in tomatoey sauce - the list could go on and on. And just in case you're still feeling peckish, when the rush settles down and most people have been served their main courses, a whole area of the counter is cleared and out come the cakes, pastries and fruit. And then it all happens again when the second wave of workers take their lunch hour.
This beautiful restaurant (it's summer at the moment so all the tables are outside in a pretty courtyard) couples excellent service and prices with the most delicious Turkish cuisine. The owners are really nice people who endeavour to help you make the right choices and always attempt to have an English-speaking waiter/ress serve you if necessary. You can go inside and point to what you want from the fridges if you don't have any idea what to order. I would recommend a couple of salads and a couple of meat dishes between two people. Bread, salad and yoghurt usually awaits you on the table when you arrive. It's always busy here in the evenings so book in advance if possible, although they can usually squeeze you in eventually. ALCOHOL IS NOT AVAILABLE IN THIS RESTAURANT but don't let that put you off - the homemade lemonade is delicious!
Favorite Dish: Esme salad (not sure of the spelling) makes an excellent accompaniment to the bread and yoghurt. Beef shashlyk is excellent and Chicken breast is available and quite good quality.
European look very nice pub/restaurant. I found just by chance while looking for cold beer.
Favorite Dish: There are many dishes you may enjoy. I preferred steak. It was so delicious. I also got smoked cheese which went well with the beer.