Printed from:
2020-09-24 10:16:00


DINING -> Restaurants
By Anatol Steven. 16.01.2015

Elizabetes 10b , Riga Phone: 6610 3334
Skype: 3
Working hours: Mon-Thu 10.00 - 23.00
Fri-Sat 10.00 - 24.00
Sun 10.00 - 23.00

It's hard to fault the authentic Uzbek dishes at Uzbegims. Riga boasts an amazing number of restaurants serving authentic national cuisines from around the world. Uzbek food is of course among these, but not all of the city’s Uzbek restaurants have survived the test of time. We hope that the newest, Uzbegims, succeeds in attracting more visitors as it is hard to fault their dishes.

In one of the busier parts of Riga’s dazzling Art Nouveau district, descend a few steps from street level to an opulent interior of bright colors – green from plants hanging from one side of the ceiling, sky blue from veiled curtains drawn across some of the tables, multicolored cushions, exotic Central Asian decorative plates and musical instruments mounted on the walls. Spotless glasses and cutlery adorn the white-cloth tables. 

By day, wealthy Russian-speaking businessmen lunch at Uzbegims, discussing deals by phone as they eat. It gets livelier in the evenings, as romantic couples and families come to enjoy plov and shashlik of every description. Courteous white-gloved waiters and waitresses in traditional costume move efficiently between the tables.

We ordered lagman soup (€7.90), a rich and fabulous meal-in-a-bowl, with chunks of super-tender lamb, thick and slightly chewy homemade noodles, potatoes, sweet pepper, onions, celery, garlic and “oriental radish”. It may not first appear especially sizeable, but together with the buttery and spongy flatbread baked in the restaurant’s own tandir oven, it’s filling enough. This is Central Asian comfort food, warming on cold days and nights.

Among the other authentic specialties on the menu – which we’ll try on our next visit – is kazi, a kind of sausage made from horsemeat. Beshbarmak is a spicy dish also with horsemeat and noodles, which means “five fingers” as traditionally you eat it with your hands, though nobody would expect you to do that at Uzbegims.

Better-known dishes include dolma and, of course, plov. There are four kinds of plov to opt for, including the sumptuous “wedding pilaf”, which must be ordered at least two hours beforehand and feeds five people for €60.

Whatever you order, wash it down with chilled vodka and glasses of deliciously fresh and natural cranberry mors, and end the meal with pahlava and halva.