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Saturday, 16 April 2016

Samarkand Restaurant in Ansan

Today I went to eat at an Uzbekistan restaurant in Ansan.  It was recommended by my employer, and after I checked it out on the internet I saw that there were numerous other positive reviews.

The owner was very nice in greeting us.  When we arrived the restaurant door was open, yet the place was empty (it was about 11 am, early for most Korean restaurants).  I asked him in English if they were open, and he said they started at 9 am (wow!).

I was eager for some lamb, which I love but don't eat often.  He recommended a lamb and potatoes platter, at $12 one of the most expensive dishes on the menu.  I agreed.

My friend ordered a chicken platter.

We also ordered a tomato salad and a cheese and salami-type plate.

The lamb was excellent, though there wasn't much of it.  It was accompanied with a few quarters of "real" potatoes, and then with (crinkle-cut) fries, and some cucumber and tomato garnish.

I was disappointed with the fries . . . if I want those I will buy them frozen (which they probably were originally) or satisfy that craving at a fast food joint. (Maybe they are kept on hand for foreigners--?)

Speaking of fast food, that is what the chicken platter seemed to be.  I was not at all impressed with it, especially since I wanted to try Uzbek food.

If I had known that tomatoes and cucumber would be served on the platters, I would not have ordered the tomato salad, since that is all it was.

The cheese and salami were ok--nothing special.

I will go back to the restaurant, but I will certainly not order the same food.  Next time perhaps a meat pastry and the plov.  I want more lamb.

Have a look at the menu here:

The area that the restaurant is in has numerous other ethnic eateries: Chinese, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, etc.  Indeed, when walking around there it almost feels like you have left Korea. It is a mixed foreign enclave.

To get there, take the train to Ansan (안산) station.  Go out exit 1.  Cross the street via the underground passage, and take the left-hand stairs.  Walk up the market street (you'll see fruit and vegetable vendors) 1 block.  Turn left when you see the park on the right ahead of you (with that funky sculpture).

Don't eat the $12 crinkle-cut fries.

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