Samarqand is a city forever at a crossroads, where dishes echo those of Turkey, China and more recently, Russia. Celebrating the food of contemporary Uzbekistan, this is a smart operation, furnished in a five-star-hotel style of expensive dark wood and mood lighting, with charming service throughout.
Starters include soups or samosas scattered with rocket leaves, while plov (a close relative of pilau) is prepared the Uzbek way, correctly glistening with so much fat it resembled stir-fried rice rather than the delicate rice dishes of Iran or India. Likewise, the lagman noodles were exemplary: freshly made and served in a simple beef and vegetable broth. Meat-filled wheat pasta dumplings is another dish that crops up from Korea to Poland, but this version, manty – minced lamb dumplings, served with yoghurt dips – is distinctively Central Asian.
Our fellow diners were mostly monied Russians (Samarqand is part of a Russian restaurant group), enjoying the extensive list of vodkas and high-priced wines. Sadly, many of the rear alcoves have been turned into private dining areas (some with karaoke facilities) pitched at expat Russian speakers in party mood. Be prepared if you visit on a Friday or Saturday night.
|Venue name:||Samarqand - CLOSED|
18 Thayer Street
|Opening hours:||Meals served noon-11pm Mon-Thur; noon-11.30pm Fri, Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Bond Street tube|
|Price:||Main courses £12-£16. Set lunch £13.95 2 courses, £15.95 3 courses|
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Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Samarqand is AMAZING! I absolutely loved the food! (The plov and russian hering are highly recommend) The atmosphere is great and the service is impeccable! Staff are very friendly too! Audience is - contrary to the review - quite international. Furthermore the bar - and its vodka selection - are unrivalled in London!