20 Sep 2016
Discover something new at Samarkand, the first Uzbek destination restaurant in London offering a treasure trove of flavours from the Silk Road. Seamlessly blending intriguing Uzbek dishes with an exquisite selection of over 40 vodkas, the decadent restaurant, complete with a mezzanine bar, is ideally located on London’s stylish Charlotte Street.
Uzbekistan, relatively undiscovered in gastronomical terms, is located along the historic Silk Road between the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Samarkand takes its name from the country’s second largest city, also the oldest inhabited city in Central Asia and the home of astronomy. The restaurant is inspired by the City’s eclectic mix of food, culture and architectural beauty.
Small Plates and Starters
Start with a small plate to whet the appetite N Baklajon (smoky aubergine caviar) with Samarkand bread stamped in the middle and cooked in a tandoor oven; Somsa (handmade puff pastry parcels filled with beef and lamb); or pickled seasonal vegetables.
Moving on to the starters, choose from creamy Tashkent Salad (crunchy white cabbage and tender veal fillet in a mayonnaise dressing served with quail eggs, crisp mooli and a scattering of watercress); Butternut Squash and Liquorice Soup; Smoked Eel with baby beets, soft boiled quails eggs and freshly grated horseradish; or Shurpa (a hearty lamb broth with potatoes, carrot, chickpeas and mooli).
Classic main courses are inspired by founder Sanjar Nabiev’s childhood. Jiz Biz (buttery lamb chops with a sliced potato cake and fresh herb salad); Grilled Rainbow Trout with seasonal vegetables and green sauce; Fried Lagman (handNpulled fried noodles with lamb shoulder, tomato and chilli sauce) and Chicken Tabaka (panNfried chicken marinated in pomegranate molasses, star anise and cumin).
No visit to Samarkand would be complete without the celebratory national dish of Uzbekistan – Plov. The chefs at Samarkand have used a family recipe passed down through generations of beef short ribs cooked for three hours and served over Uzbek rice with yellow carrots, chickpeas, barberries and pomegranates – best paired with a sipping glass of Vodka.
Other dishes include traditional meat options such as Manti (handmade dumplings with lightly spiced pumpkin or tender beef and lamb) and Shashlik (succulent skewered meat, cooked to perfection). This Uzbek favourite is given a modern interpretation with choices including Wagyu beef with Tuscan truffle; calves liver; buttermilk marinated lamb; yellowfin tuna; or bavette.
Finish with a flourish with Samarkand’s vibrant Chilli and Thyme Poached Peach, served with a barberry ice cream and garnished with pomegranate and crushed pistachios. Pastry lovers can also delight in a Baklava Cake with a scoop of homemade sorbet.
The Bar Fit For Emperors
Whether you take your tipples in the intimate raised bar or prefer to sip at the dinner table, Samarkand’s drinks offering is enough to impress any guest. The destination bar showcases over 40 vodkas from around the globe including the rarest Polish potatoNbased Vestal available by the bottle to Russia’s premium Beluga and Tito’s, the gluten free vodka from USA. Moving closer to home are vodkas from the United Kingdom including Black Cow, the world’s first vodka made entirely from milk, and the incredibly smooth D1 Potato Vodka, not to mention a quinoa seed vodka, Fair Quinoa, from France – all to be sipped and savoured neat, as the Uzbeks do, or enjoyed within a cocktail.
Signature vodka cocktails are inspired by the exotic flavours of Silk Road – vodka infusions include tarragon, barberry, as well as saffron and orange, and cinnamon. Alternatively, enjoy cocktails made from a range of Silk Road related spirits and liqueurs such as Baiju, Yeniraki or Fair Gin mixed with fairNtrade botanicals source in Uzbekistan to deliver a unique concoction. The impressive wine list features an array of European and New World wines that have been carefully chosen and paired with the restaurant’s food by some of London’s best wine experts.
Enter the Samarkand World
Diners are immediately greeted by geometric blue tiled walls which guide the way down to the reception area. Designed by BusbyWebb, the restaurant provides a striking view as guests begin their Uzbek experience, from the initial hexagonal tables through to the eyeNcatching blueNbacked open kitchen. A mezzanine lounge bar is perfect for preNdinner drinks or as a destination on its own, with a luxurious marble bar and casual seating.
Key design features include plates decorated with astronomical motifs, a reference to the namesake city’s discovery of astronomy, and a striking handNpainted mural by Royal Academician Flora Roberts. HandNcarved columns add a sense of history to the space and twinkling chandeliers emulate the starry skies above Sanjar Nabiev’s childhood home.
Discover something new at Samarkand. Xush#kelibsiz (welcome) to Uzbekistan.
33 Charlotte Street
London W1T 1RR
0203 871 4969
For further information, please contact Fiona Feeney or Lotte Kendall
at Roche Communications on 020 7436 111 or at Fiona@rochecom.com / Lotte@rochecom.com