Samarqand in London

I loved delving into the unusual cuisine in this little underground gem.

The thing is, when I was told I was off for a foody adventure into Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan delights I came up blank. I really had no idea what was going to be coming my way.

Turns out that like all other things in life, the food has some sister dishes rooted in other cultures I was familiar with. I had the chicken noodle soup- that was pretty much as you would expect, but with handmade yogurt sides. Really well balanced broth, no bitterness whatsoever, and soft noodles with large chunks of chicken. Clay oven cooked bread, to boot. I was already sold!

I also had a main of Beef dumplings. They are onion riddled- but I love that! Looking a lot like the South East Asian equivalent of dumplings, they came with a chili sauce created from scratch on the premises. This was something really unique, full of chili chunks, infused oils and something subtle but tasty that I couldn’t define.

I was also incredibly impressed with the Napoleon Cake. Reminded me of vanilla slice in the UK, but with less of the heavy custard and icing, and more delicate pasty. We also had a tea, with a special warmer, to be served by women (see? we got a bit of local culture while I did my best not to raise eyebrows at the delight of my fellow diner).