Sunday, January 21, 2007

Restaurant Review: Amir Timur

Since it's winter, and I'm not up for taking any bike trips, there's not much to write about. So I present the latest addition to my blog. Restaurant reviews.

Saturday night, for my birthday, I headed to the Uzbek restaurant in town. It's located behind the Songdo Beach Ramada (which is neither in Songdo, nor near the beach). The owners are ethnic Russians (as opposed to ethnic Uzbeks) from Tashkent, but that's about all I could get out of them. It's a semi-up scale restaurant with a primarily Korean clientele.

Some items from the menu (prices in Korean Won, 935 to the US$):

Lagman W6,500
Uzbek Salad W7,000
Plov W6,000
Samsa W3,000
Shashlik W13,000-21,000 (two skewers, includes non and a cup of tea)

I had the plov and Uzbek Lamb Shashlik (W15,000). The shashlik was okay, but it didn't have the pizzazz of real Uzbek shashlik. Which is traditionally meat-fat-meat-fat-meat-fat. Instead, it was just meat-meat-meat-meat-meat. Which is okay I guess, but not authentic. The non was fresh out of the tandoor, and was much lighter and fluffier than the traditional Uzbek non. The plov also differed slightly from traditional Uzbek plov. The rice was not quite as dark as what I'm used to. I'm not sure what gives it that color, but it was missing. Finally, the tea brought at the end was stronger than what I experienced in Uzbekistan, and it didn't have the floating bits of tea leaves I'd grown accustomed to.

Overall, the meal was decent. It was a little more upscale Uzbek for Korean tastebuds. I've found an Uzbek cafe in Seoul which caters more to Uzbeks, and the dishes there are more authentic. Unfortunately, it's also 1.5-2 hours away by subway. Price wise, the Uzbek place in Seoul is a little cheaper. The meal in Incheon was W21,000, while I can get a salad, plov, non, shashlik, and a Baltika in Seoul for around W15,000. I've heard that there are some Uzbek restaurants in Ansan, which is fairly close to Incheon. I'll search for those when the weather starts to warm a little.

Final rating: Acceptable

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