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Tuesday 28 August 2018

Osh Restaurant – Outstanding Uzbekistani Cooking & One of The Best London Meals of 2018!

Name: Osh Restaurant

Where: 14-15 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, SW3 1NQ, https://oshrestaurant.com/

Cost: A 3-course meal at Osh costs on average £35 per person not including beverages or service. Small eats cost £6-14, main courses are £11 to £29, and desserts are £4.50 to £7. 

About: Opened in March 2018 in Knightsbridge's plush Beauchamp Place, on the site of the former Japanese Nozumi restaurant, Osh Restaurant serves Uzbekistani and Central Asian food.

Aiming to offer authentic Uzbekistani dining, the management has hired and brought to the UK a number of Uzbekistani chefs. Osh imports its vegetables and fruit from Uzbekistan twice a week, a selection of which, is on proud display at the entrance, along with dates, nuts and seeds.

Osh Restaurant and Bar is spread over three floors of a Knightsbridge townhouse, with the ground floor restaurant being set under a glass roof with a view of the verdant trees above. 

This part of the restaurant is decorated in neutral creams and browns and overlooks the blue and cream tiled, open plan kitchen and tandoor ovens, while the upper floor is decked out in gold and red stripes with beautiful artwork.

The restaurant's concept is of sharing dishes, with platters placed in the middle of the table.  Oddly, there is a selection of Asian and Japanese inspired dishes on the menu (run-of-the-mill items like black cod in miso and sashimi in ponzu dressing etc), but we chose to focus, with the guidance of our very knowledgeable waiter Nikolai, on the Uzbek dishes.

Osh takes its name from Uzbekistan’s national dish. Osh or Plov, is the restaurant’s signature dish and cost as little as £16 for 2 people to share. Nikolai tells us that 99% of diners will order this plus a couple or few other small dishes. Osh is an intricate rice dish of slow braised mutton, in rice, garlic, chickpeas, grated carrots and sultanas. Osh is one of the most wonderful things I have eaten this year.

Uzbekistan is also known for its fine caviar, and guests with deep enough pockets can choose from a range of beluga, oscietra and platinum caviars, starting at £60 for 30g.

What We Ate: Uzbek tomato carpaccio with goats cheese and a scattering of pomegranate seeds (£8) tasted as good as it looked, with ultra-fine slices of ripe tomato. The cheese was creamy and rich with a lovely gamey quality to it.

The warm aubergine salad with goat's cheese and coriander dressing was beautifully presented with a topping of deep-fried leeks (£8). The aubergine chunks had been lightly battered and deep-fried, and combined deliciously with the goats cheese. Nikolai says this is the most popular of all starters and I can certainly see why!

The aubergine salad came served with some wonderfully aromatic, freshly-baked Uzbek bread seasoned with caraway seeds, and tarragon butter (£3.50).

Butternut squash Manti were sweet and delicious dumplings, flavoured with coriander and cumin (£5), served with a little pot of refreshing sour cream.

Uzbek Chebureki were deep-fried dough parcels of minced lamb with Uzbek spices (£6) – they were light, oil-free and delicious with the fresh tomato herb relish.

Surmi cabbage rolls (£12) were filled with minced rabbit, rice and topped with truffle shavings. They were exceptionally good - perfectly tender, aromatic and creamy. The accompanying sauce of butter, white wine and fennel was bursting with flavour.

Shashlik are grilled skewers of meat or fish marinated for 12 hours - are served at Osh Restaurant with spicy cucumber salad, adjika sauce of tomatoes, chillies, onions and red pepper, and flat bread.

The chicken spatchcock shashlik (£11) with ginger, chilli, garlic and tomato was succulent and aromatic.

The beef fillet shashlik (£14) came with soy sauce, honey, garlic and onion. It was tender, served medium rare but with a delicious caramelisation, and well seasoned. I cannot understand who Osh can serve such generous and good quality meat skewers for £14.

Uzbek Osh is a variant of the plov lamb dishes popular in central Asia - a warming mixture of lamb or mutton, onions, grated carrots and spices.  Osh's version had slow cooked lamb served with orange and yellow carrots, peppers, chickpeas, lamb lard, sultanas, pilau rice and Uzbek spices.

Served with Achichuk (Uzbek tomato) salad and Uzbek radish salad (£16 for 2). This was also remarkably good, with aromas of cumin and coriander.

For dessert, we shared a pistachio éclair with fresh blackcurrants, blueberries and raspberries, with micro mint (£7). This was magnificent, the éclair richly almond flavoured, the crème patisserie aromatic with vanilla and heady pistachio.

What We Drank: Osh has a comprehensive cocktail list. We started with a Desert Tea cocktail (£14), with Courvoisier VSOP cognac, mint, rose essence, red sandalwood and red amaranth. This was strong, intensely perfumed, and delicious.  The Silk Spritz (£14) was a refreshing blend of Elix vodka, Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, Thai basil, kumquat, Martini Prosecco Brut.

The entry level white is a Musar Jeune from Chateau Musar, Lebanon at £55, while the red is a Piedmontese Barbera at £35. There is a good selection of wine by the glass, including a Cretan white at £9, and the Barbera is also served by the glass at £6.75.

Likes: I enjoyed absolutely every item we chose from the menu, and this was one of those very rare meals without any weak dishes (I would like to thank Nikolai for his help ghiding us to choose the best Uzbek dishes). Despite the plush location and restaurant decor, the food menu is outstandingly good value for money. A perfect meal for me at Osh includes – Warm Aubergine Salad + Surmi Cabbage Rolls + Beef Fillet Shashlik Skewer + Osh Lamb Rice!

Dislikes: None

Verdict: For Uzbekistani cooking that is authentic, delicious and generous in plush Knightsbridge and at surprisingly reasonable prices, there can surely be nowhere better in London. I had one of the best meals of 2018 at Osh Restaurant. Very highly recommended.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, everything just looks so great here. I wanna make the trip simply to go to that place, haha.


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