Cycle 3 – Item 302
2 (Fri) November 2012
-Gwanghui, Jung, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ, Nanny 8
Project 30/30/30: 2 of 45 (see also 45/45/45)
Throughout this November, I am challenging myself to eat 30 dishes from 30 countries over the course of 30 consecutive days.
Uzbekistan is the 2nd country.
Samarqand is an Uzbek restaurant.
For some reason, Samarqand is the one that seems to get coverage in newspapers and blogs, though all of the reviews that I’ve seen focus more on the curiosity of an Uzbek restaurant operating in Seoul rather than the food itself.
Plov is an Uzbek rice dish. Basically, it consists of rice stewed in a meat broth and topped with the meat, typically lamb or beef (as here). The name “plov” or alternatively “pulov” derives from the same source as “pilaf.” In any case, plov is one of Uzbekistan’s national dishes.
I wasn’t impressed with the plov here. It was a bit bland in the rice and tough in the meat. Even worse, it was liberally seasoned with caraway seeds, which I detest, popping at every bite in licorice flavor. 8,000 won. I decided to feature the dish for this post, even though it was my least favorite dish of the meal, because I wanted to go with a main dish, something famous, so long as I had one shot at the country’s cuisine.
On a positive note, our nanny was overjoyed with the food. Having spent 10 years running a business in Russia, she was familiar with these types of dishes, items that she hadn’t seen since closing shop and returning to China nearly a decade ago. Until this evening, she’d never once accepted our invitations to come out and eat dinner with us. But when I told her about our destination, she didn’t require any further persuasion. So long as someone in the family was happy with the meal, I’ll consider it a success.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)