Last month we visited UZB Avenue, Dubai’s top Uzbek restaurant to try Uzbek cuisine, for the first time. A delicious amalgam of cultural influences, Uzbek fare is as interesting, diverse and unique as its people.
Traditionally agrarian, the Uzbeks produced abundance of grain and vegetables, which enriched their cuisine and thereby allowed them to express their strong tradition of hospitality. Me and my dining partner got a feel of this culture and hospitality at UZB Avenue.
UZB Avenue – Ambiance
Just a hop away from the Sharaf DG Metro station, this fine dining restaurant will take you on a culinary journey straight to the heart of Uzbekistan. Black tablecloth with colorful floral patterns, traditional Uzbek souvenirs, tea urns (Samovar,) artsy cushions, artistic decor, folk instruments and a host of interesting relics from the past completely immersed us in Uzbek culture, as we awaited our food.
A very nicely decorated place for fine dining, UZB Avenue has a really fantastic ambiance with both indoor and outdoor seating, and private rooms for families.
Need some privacy? Choose one of these private spaces with carpets and low-level tables, draw the curtains and immerse in your own private setting. Toss aside your shoes, sit down old-school way and indulge in authentic Uzbek fare.
Bread is the staple food for Uzbeks, like it is for many other cultures, and it is served with tea at every meal.
Traditionally, Tea is offered first to guests and there exists a whole subset of Uzbek customs surrounding the preparation and consumption of tea. Keeping up with that tradition, we were served with bubbling hot black tea and extremely fresh and delicious bread on our arrival.
For starters we had Greek salad and Kuza-shurva. The salad was as fresh as it was just picked from the garden.
Kuza-shurva is nothing but traditional Uzbek lamb soup cooked in a clay pot with carrot, potato and spices. The soup was rich in flavor and aromatic.
For appetizers we tried Kazi and Beef Tongue. Kazi is a traditional Uzbeki horsemeat dish served with fresh onion. It tasted a bit like beef, however considering that it was my first trial of horse meat ever, I couldn’t quite appreciate it.
Beef Tongue was soft and yummy. A delicacy served in very few restaurants in Dubai, beef tongue is a must try.
For the main course, we went for Uzbek Plov and Vegetarian and Beef Manti. Plov is a world-famous Uzbek traditional dish made of meat, rice, carrots, yellow raisins, chickpeas, and spices. This Uzbek version of Pilaff or Indian Pulao is a flagship of Usbek Cookery. Uzbek men supposedly pride themselves on their ability to prepare the most unique and sumptuous palov. In Usbek Tradition the oshpaz, or master chief, often cooks palov over an open flame, sometimes serving up to 1000 people from a single couldron on holidays or occasions such as weddings.
Manti is the Usbek version of Chinese dumplings and it comes filled with vegetables or meat. The Beef Manti had finely minced beef, wrapped in a thin dough and served with sour cream. Whereas the vegetarian version came with pumpkin and onions. Both tasted quite good.
We finally washed it all down with some fresh fruit juice.
The service was outstanding. The staff dressed in traditional Uzbek costumes were a very friendly bunch and served with a smile. They were quite knowledgeable and well versed at explaining all the queries we had, about the dishes.
We spoke to Elena, the Restaurant Manager and here’s what she had to say…
If you want to set aside the routine and try something different, eclectic and exciting, then I highly recommend Usbek Food from UZB Avenue.
Overall Rating: 8
IF YOU’RE GOING…
Where: Barsha Oasis Building, Opposite Al Maya Supermarket, Al Barsha,
Hours: 12 noon to 12:00 midnight.
Atmosphere: Great ambiance, fringe lighting, private family rooms, colorful decor, artifacts and a lot of cultural souvenirs
Prices: AED 150 for two people (approx.)
Credit cards: Cash & all major credit cards accepted
Sound level: Slow music
Wheelchair access: Available
Beverage service: No alcohol
Recommended: Plov, Greek Salad
Reservations: 04 3999904
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/uzbavenue