With a name like UzTurk this newly opened restaurant in Dubai Marina could only be an Uzbek-Turkish enterprise. Owned, managed and run by first time restaurateur, Nargis, herself an Uzbek, the restaurant has an appealing authenticity and rawness to it. I am told that there are two chefs in the kitchen – one Uzbek and the other Turk.
My food adventurers and I started with Borsh and Olivier Salad which we had with Uzbek Bread before moving on to the beautifully decorated Uzbek Manti, Ali Nazik, Beyti and Uzbek Plov. Well, their menu certainly covers many favourites from both worlds. Stand outs for me were the flower shaped Manti and Ali Nazik, a southern Turkish specialty from Gaziantep of chargrilled lamb pieces served on a mixture of pureed garlicky eggplant and yoghurt. I found the other dishes under seasoned and the Uzbek Plov too dry (both rice and meat), things I am sure Nargis will address.
We ended our meal with some lovely Turkish tea. Nargis attended to our table herself, chatting with us about how she started her restaurant. I have nothing but respect for people who believe in themselves enough to take this sort of a plunge, especially in the middle of this global crisis. So, although UzTurk still needs fine tuning, I think it has enough going for itself to warrant a visit. I hope you get to meet Nargis, she is the chashni of the restaurant.
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Xerxes (pronounced Zûrk’seez) physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.