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Samarqand (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Global Marylebone

Time Out says

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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.



Address: 18 Thayer Street
Transport: Tube: Bond Street tube
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